For small and medium sized businesses, the promise of additive manufacturing can seem out of reach due to the significant investment in machines and training.
UK based Additive Design consultancy (ADC) is a new company that specialises in providing an on demand design and optimisation expertise for businesses seeking high-end additive manufacturing for defence and aerospace.
“We believe additive manufacturing, and most notably metal AM, is a huge new design area that can be daunting for some customers,” explained ADC’s director, Adam Arnold. “We provide expertise in the AM principles and the skill to apply it to the customer’s product. This can be realised by either redesigning current parts or assemblies of parts, or, more excitingly, to design whole systems or products from the ground upwards using this manufacturing technology.”
One of the major benefits ADC promotes is the advantage of metal AM when used to replace difficult to manufacture parts already found in current products and reducing weight. Whilst most parts made with traditional machining are usually produced in aluminium, optimisation for additive manufacturing means parts can be created in titanium using metal powders.
Additive design for aerospace and defence applications.
ADC uses a number of ground breaking software packages to optimise parts structurally for use in AM which can result in complex micro-organic formed internally, whilst maintaining a sleek outer aesthetic.
“Let’s face it, nature has been optimising structures for additive manufacturing for millions of years,” Adam continued. “It is no surprise there is a raft of software packages to help guide the engineer to recreate this design process. The problem for a small to medium business is if an engineer is not using the process or software all the time, especially with something as complex and open ended as AM, they will not get the best from the exercise. Here at ADC we use the software all the time and are always thinking about how this can be made better, lighter and cheaper in AM. Our customers have found that the consultancy approach for such a large and emerging field of engineering gives better results.”