Technology, processes and materials
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is defined as one-piece, layer-by-layer construction from a 3D model. These technologies can transform the digital design data into a physical product in a matter of hours, so that unique, functional, complex and/or customised parts can be created.
Additive manufacturing is no longer the future, but the present. These technologies are firmly established in various sectors such as aerospace and health. There is also a wide variety of technologies and technical solutions available today, which means there is a variety of materials, process and post-processing requirements, product properties and costs that should be known at the time of starting the industrialisation process.
In addition to the more conventional 3D printing technologies, such as filament extrusion- based or powder bed fusion for both plastic and metals, IDONIAL has capabilities and experience in the following differentiating technologies of great relevance and future perspectives:
ADVANCED 3D PRINTING USING WAAM (WIRE ARC ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING) TECHNOLOGY FOR LARGE SPACE PARTS
WAAM technology is one of the most promising for 3D printing in those applications and sectors that demand production capabilities of large parts (aeronautics, automotive ...), both to produce integral parts and to carry out refills and corrective repairs as an alternative to the replacement of components that entail high costs associated with downtime and spare parts.
In IDONIAL, the extensive knowledge of more than 20 years of experience in conventional welding processes has been applied to WAAM technology. The center has multitude of resources in: industrial robotics, deposition heads with different input technologies, and vision and sensor methods for process monitoring. Hence, a custom process has been developed to adapt it to the most demanding industry standards in aspects such as: process engineering and development of work systems with different steel grades and titanium in an inert atmosphere, as well as post-process rolling lamination between layers or inspection systems based on thermography in order to ensure absence of defects.
Motorcycle post made with WAAM technology in titanium material. Raw surface finish on the left and post processed finish by milling on the right.
3D PRINTING OF CERAMIC MATERIALS –TECHNICAL CERAMICS AND BIOCERAMICS-
By means of 3D printing technology based on photo curing of resins, it is possible to generate precursors of ceramic material that, after the corresponding thermal post process, allows for 100% high density ceramic pieces featuring high physical-mechanical performance, all with excellent tolerance geometric and surface quality. IDONIAL has the processing and post-processing technology, as well as extensive experience in working with ceramic materials and validation methods.
Ceramics are materials with exceptional thermal and electrical insulating properties. For this reason, at IDONIAL we are working very closely with the industrial and end-use manufacturing sector, for applications on systems in contact with high working temperatures, or subjected to friction wear in service.
Another relevant application of ceramic materials is the bio field. Materials such as tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) are formidable bone substitutes for bone regeneration and tissue engineering applications.
Nozzle 3D printed in alumina material, previously redesigned for 3D printing, meant for industrial process usage. Courtesy of Customer Company / Examples of scaffolds with variable porosities, 3D printed in TCP material.