Iowa State has opened its doors and invited people to learn with them as they navigate this new technology. “We’re doing a lot of this research that no one can do at this point because the technology’s not out there yet,” said Dakota Morgan, a graduate student researcher.
6 Ways ISU’s Metal 3D Printer is Transforming Manufacturing
- Metal 3D Printing helps companies build prototypes more quickly and cheaply. Researcher Chris Hill told KCCI, “This particular technology blows that barrier and destroys it, so now, I can make features, such as this lattice structure, which has internal chambers that I simply cannot machine. If I were to mold this part, I’d have to get a tool to mold it. It might be six to eight weeks to get it tooled. I can do this in hours.”
- Patented powder layering system guarantees outstanding quality – According to an article in the Des Moines Register, “metal 3-D printers can create intensely intricate parts, such as molds with swirling cooling channels or parts erected in honeycomb patterns. Parts can be hollow, or include labyrinthine chambers because no drilling is needed.”
- Metal 3D printing reduces the cost of molding process – instead of ordering from overseas, companies can manufacture molds locally, saving both time and money.
- Excellent accuracy and repeatability – “Once a design is created, it can be stored indefinitely, and items can be printed, essentially, on demand, without the need to send off for molds or machining.”
- Fully dense parts with superior mechanical properties – parts created can hold up in production environments against parts that were previously machined, researchers say. The patented powder layering system guarantees outstanding quality.
- Allows manufacturers to take part in the “testing” process by working with CIRAS. "Let us make the mistakes, and we'll tell you about our mistakes," Hill said.
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