Industrial 3D printing means that the manufacturing process no longer determines the complexity of a component, but rather the product’s desired functionality and design. Complex geometries, such as three-dimensional structures with undercuts or cavities, are typically impossible to manufacture with conventional technologies like milling, turning or casting, or are only possible at disproportionately high costs.
Now, any shape that can be constructed in a 3D CAD program can be produced with additive manufacturing technology. There are almost no restrictions – even when manufacturing hollow structures. This works because the material is only added where it needs to go. Additive manufacturing gives developers maximum geometric design freedom, and complexity only plays a minor role in the production costs. The costs can often even be significantly reduced due to lower material consumption.
Evolutionary processes have created biological structures in great abundance and diversity: today, we know of more than 1 million species of animals and around 500,000 species of plants. These systems often have shapes and structures that are optimally adapted to their environment and are created with minimal use of materials and energy. The interdisciplinary research field of bionics aims to exploit this massive potential by adapting natural blueprints to technical applications.
This is where conventional manufacturing processes encounter their limits. By contrast, additive manufacturing achieves maximum design freedom. With our technology, you have the opportunity to build, discard, re-engineer and continuously optimize your prototypes during development. The tool-free production saves time and money - while offering enormous opportunities. As a result, there have been disruptive innovations in medicine, ergonomics and aviation, for example, especially in connection with aerodynamics.
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