CMTC Offers Additive Manufacturing Consulting For Small & Medium-Sized California Manufacturers

Whether you’re a manufacturer with an elementary understanding of additive manufacturing or you already have 3D printers in-house, CMTC offers expert consulting on how to take full advantage of this evolving and powerful technology.

Many small-to-medium-sized manufacturers may want to benefit from additive manufacturing technology, but don’t have the time to work on it themselves or simply don’t know where to start. This is where you can trust CMTC to bring the expertise you need to start optimizing your business for additive manufacturing.

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Optimize Your Business for Additive Manufacturing!

The  focus of CMTC is to function as a trusted advisor to small-to-medium manufacturers (SMMs) in California, so you can trust our consultants to ensure you are receiving the right answer to meet your specific needs. 

CMTC knows that there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to additive manufacturing. Each SMM is going to have different needs based on their size, industry, and goals—so CMTC consultants will meet with you to develop a customized additive manufacturing road map just for you. 

Our additive manufacturing consulting experts will develop a custom strategy for your manufacturing business to guide AM adoption and grow additive manufacturing knowledge across your organization. Our consultants will look for opportunities in your manufacturing processes that can be optimized for additive manufacturing so you can maximize the ROI on your investment in this technology.

Consulting from Additive Manufacturing Experts

You receive consulting from a network of trained practitioners in additive manufacturing. Each of CMTC’s consultants has years of experience working in AM and access to academic and institute partners so your business receives recommendations from the best in the industry.

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How Does Additive Manufacturing Work?

As its name implies, additive manufacturing works by adding materials, whether metal, plastic, or ceramics, to create an object by building it layer by layer. Additive manufacturing can augment, and in some cases, replace traditional methods of creating objects by machining, cutting, turning, shaping, milling, and other “subtractive” manufacturing processes.

To make an object using additive manufacturing, a design is created using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software or by taking a scan of the object that will be printed. The software is able to translate the scan into a precise framework for the 3D printing machine to follow layer by layer.

 

 

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What are the Benefits of Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a technology that has matured and evolved rapidly in recent years. Although it has commonly been referred to as 3D printing, it is now known as “additive manufacturing” because of its real-world impact on the sector as a whole. Additive manufacturing builds products layer by layer with high precision, allowing designers the option of turning complex designs into a reality. Coalescing assemblies - printing a part as a single unit instead of multiple parts that must be joined or fastened - helps in reducing material waste and often improving the product’s performance and quality.

Additive Manufacturing Robotic Automation Technology

AM technologies are continuing to evolve at a fast pace. Mainstream equipment producers are now entering the market, leading to new additive processes being developed. These new processes, along with a growing range of production-grade materials, such as titanium, steel, and a range of plastics enable a wide range of capabilities. 

Some of the advantages additive manufacturing offers SMMs include:

  • Significant reductions in product cycle times and waste
  • Improved quality and strength
  • Reductions in weight
  • Ability to coalesce assemblies
  • Generative design to optimize based on performance characteristics.
  • Design and produce unique parts for specific uses
  • Ability to create lattice structures for light-weighted parts and designs
  • Mass-customization of parts

Why else would an SMM consider additive manufacturing?

  • Eliminates the Need for Tooling
  • Eliminates the Need for Tooling

    Additive manufacturing reduces waste by eliminating the need for expensive tooling, saving your business money and time. Plastic and metal printers allow for 3D printing of a wide variety of materials to meet specific production needs.

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  • Wide Range of Materials
  • Wide Range of Materials

     A material's properties and overall performance are determined by its chemical composition, crystalline state, and underlying micro-architecture. These characteristics force engineers to accept certain trade-offs when choosing a material for a specific application. However, this concession may soon be a thing of the past due to advancements in 3D printing technology. There is an increasingly growing range of materials available for AM today. Some of the more common materials available to use include:

    • Nylon
    • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) 
    • Resin
    • PLA (Polylactic Acid)
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Stainless steel
    • Titanium
    • Ceramics
    • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
    • HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene)
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  • Topology Optimization
  • Topology Optimization

    Recent advances in automated design have enabled production of products for a wealth of applications. Topology Optimization software allows designers to specify the parameters of a part and allow the software to define its architecture based on desired structural, functional, thermal, or other properties. As a result, designs can be made stronger, lighter, tougher, and more resistant to natural forces and external conditions.

    Additive Manufacturing Topology-optimized Parts

    How Does Additive Manufacturing Benefit Different Industries?

    More industries are embracing additive manufacturing technology and taking advantage of the benefits AM brings to their business. Industries like medical and aerospace are utilizing these technological advancements to create products more quickly with less production waste. Some of the industry-specific benefits include:

  • Aerospace
  • Aerospace

    The aerospace industry has been on the cutting edge of additive manufacturing for years due to its advantages. 

    Maintain Standards: Since aerospace companies must meet stringent standards, parts and components need to be made of the highest-performance materials. By employing the latest in 3D printing technology,  engineers can design complex, high-strength parts that are significantly lighter than traditionally manufactured parts..

    Reduce Weight: By 3D printing aerospace components, parts can be manufactured that are significantly lighter in weight. Additive manufacturing allows for the printing of more efficient, optimized  geometries, thereby eliminating significant amounts of unnecessary material. The end result? Lighter aerospace components means lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions, and reduced costs.

    Machining Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Automotive

    Just like with aerospace, the automotive industry has adopted additive manufacturing early on. 

    Improve Safety: Automotive parts need to withstand harsh conditions and still maintain their structural integrity. With 3D printing, manufacturers can build complex, high-quality components from one single piece, ensuring durability. 

    Rapid Prototyping: The speed of 3D printing allows automotive manufacturers to produce prototypes within hours. This allows for not only a superior product in the end, but it also reduces waste and time spent on model-making of parts. With no need for tools and model parts, automotive manufacturers can cut both development and production costs while saving time.

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  • Medical
  • Medical 

    Additive manufacturing has revolutionized the medical industry, delivering breakthroughs to doctors and patients alike. 

    Dentistry: Currently, the 3D printing market for digital dentistry is valued at $2.5 billion — and that’s expected to grow. Additive manufacturing allows for 3D printed dental appliances and custom-made devices, such as dentures, crowns, and even Invisalign™, to be constructed from a variety of substrates and prints customized to each individual.

    Anatomical Models: True-to-life anatomical models can be printed with relative ease due to 3D printing, which is helpful for students, researchers, and in surgical preparation.

    Prosthetics & Devices: Additive manufacturing allows for the creation of durable prosthetics that can be customized to assist the recipient’s bone structure and their unique needs while being strong, lightweight, and still pliable for comfort. Likewise, devices such as hearing aids can be mass-produced using additive manufacturing and made for a better fit to ensure the highest level of comfort for the user.

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    Learn the Benefits of Metal Additive Manufacturing!

    Products that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago are now made using metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques. Download this free flier on metal additive manufacturing from CMTC to see the latest in product advancements! 

    Download the AM Flier

     

     

     

    Receive Manufacturing Consulting
    From the Experts with CMTC

    Are you ready to see what additive manufacturing can do for your manufacturing business? 

    With CMTC’s expert additive manufacturing consulting, your small-to-medium-sized manufacturing business can map out and assess the potential impact of this technology so you can grow your business efficiently. 

    Discover what expert additive manufacturing consulting can do for you by contacting CMTC today.

    Contact Us Today!

    Who We Are At CMTC

    CMTC offers manufacturing consulting solutions for small-to-medium sized manufacturers. Our industry experts work closely with California manufacturers to help prepare them to compete at a higher level in the changing global marketplace. As trusted advisors, we provide manufacturing consulting solutions throughout your business, working with top management down to the shop floor to help small companies grow and innovate. CMTC is affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program, which contains 51 centers across the U.S. to serve the manufacturing community.

  • ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute
  • ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute

    America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the leading collaborative partner in AM and 3D printing technology research in the United States and the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM). With public-private partnerships with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and both workforce and economic development resources, America Makes seeks to accelerate AM technologies to increase the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Learn more about America Makes here: https://www.americamakes.us/.

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  • NIST MEP
  • NIST MEP

    The MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) is a public-private partnership with locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. For the past thirty years, the partnership has equipped manufacturers with the resources they need to thrive and grow. In 2020 alone, MEP Centers assisted over 27,500 manufacturers, leading to $13 billion in sales and helping to create over 105,000 manufacturing jobs. By providing manufacturers with the resources they need for sustainable growth, the MEP National Network’s goal is for manufacturing to ultimately be the engine that delivers profitable business in the manufacturing environment, enabling expansion and profitability. For more information about the MEP program, please visit https://www.nist.gov/mep.

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  • Manufacturing USA
  • Manufacturing USA

    Manufacturing USA brings together industry, academia, and federal partners within a growing network of advanced manufacturing institutes to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure. Learn more about Manufacturing USA at https://www.manufacturingusa.com.

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    Contact a CMTC Expert Today

    Have questions about implementing advanced robotics and automation in your facility? We're here to help! Get in touch with one of our team members now.