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About Additive Engineering

Additive Engineering is an Australia-based additive manufacturer specialising in bio-compatible titanium 3D printing. Utilising proven additive manufacturing technology to produce consistent, high surface quality production parts to meet the highest manufacturing standards as required by the medical and aerospace industries, the experienced Additive Engineering team is dedicated to delivering on your specifications.

Having spent more than 15 years perfecting the surface quality for better osseointegration of 3D printed titanium implants, Hugh Tevelein founded Additive Engineering to deliver ready-to-use titanium implants to help patients regain their quality of life.

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

What is additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, refers to any production process which uses data computer-aided-design (CAD) software to add material, layer upon layer to build three dimensional parts. 3D printing or AM does not only refer to rapid prototyping or one kind of additive manufacturing process. In addition, it is also a significant process that offers direct manufacturing from design to product especially in precise geometric shapes. Traditional manufacturing or subtractive manufacturing often involves removing material through milling, CNC machining and carving.

additive manufacturing

Why additive manufacturing?

Additive technology allows design complexity not possible by conventional manufacturing. Parts that required welding multiple assembly pieces can now be grown as a single part. With the advancements of industrial 3D printing, repeatable products with consistent material properties can now be manufactured with automated additive manufacturing equipment.

Additive manufacturing is most suitable when :

there are manufacturing limitations to existing methods

design updates and complexity are required without adding to cost

low volumes do not justify manufacturing tools

speed to market is required

maintaining inventory is costly

How does additive manufacturing work?

Additive manufacturing starts with a digital CAD file, which is translated into triangulated surfaces as a standard tessellation language (STL) file. The STL file is then sliced into thousands of two dimensional layers. A 3D printer reads the layers as building blocks and 3D print the layers, building a three dimensional object.

additive manufacturing

The specific technology and the material determine the size of each individual layer or layer thickness. In general, the faster the build, the lower the resolution, and thinner layer resolutions require less post-processing.

titanium implants

Orientation

Orientation refers to how and which direction a part is placed on the Additive manufacturing build platform. For example, a part may be oriented at an angle, or standing vertical. Because 3D printing builds one layer at a time, downward facing surfaces may have more ribbed lines. Certain orientations work better for curved surfaces and factor in features to counter large flat surfaces, which are not designed for additive manufacturing. 

The team at Additive Engineering can help guide you to achieve the best printed outcome for your design.

additive engineering

Supports

Many additive manufacturing processes require support scaffolding for features such as overhangs, undercuts, holes, cavities. How a part is oriented also determines where supports are needed within the build, as well as material, technology and build resolution. Scaffolding is usually made in the same material and are removed in post-processing

Types of additive manufacturing technologies

Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM)

Materials are fully melted by laser in the DMLM technologies, producing dense, qualify surface finish products that require minimal post-processing.

Additive Engineering utilises GE’s Concept Laser MLab 200R DMLM technology together with biocompatible titanium in the manufacture of medical implants.

Sintering

A solid mass is created without liquefying it. In Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), a laser sinters each layer of metal powder just enough to adhere to produce high-resolution products with desirable surfaces.

With Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a laser sinters thermoplastic powders to create 3D objects.

Additive Engineering utilises the EOS FORMIGA P110 Velocis with biocompatible PA2200, which has good chemical resistance and is certified for contact with foodstuffs as well as the manufacture of surgical guides.

Stereolithography​

A UV laser is selectively fired into a vat of photopolymer UV-curable resin to print 3D objects that can withstand high temperatures. Digital light processing is a similar technology.

Other additive manufacturing processes

Powder Bed Fusion

These systems use lasers, electron beams or thermal print heads to melt fine layers of material to form 3D objects. Used in many additive manufacturing processes including direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), selective laser melting (SLM), EBM and direct metal laser melting (DMLM). Excess powder is removed from objects.

Material Extrusion

One of the most common processes. spooled polymers are extruded or drawn through a heated nozzle that moves to melt material as the bed moves vertically. Layer adhesion occurs through the use of chemical bonding agents of precise temperature control.

Directed Energy Deposition

Similar to Material Extrusion, this is more applicable to a wide range of materials; metals, ceramics and polymers. A laser or electron beam is mounted on a five-axis arm that melts either wire ( wire arc additive manufacturing) or filament or powdered material feedstock.

Binder Jetting

The printhead selectively deposits a liquid binding agent onto a thin layer of powder of metal, sand, ceramics or composites. Process is repeated using a map from a digital design file to form the final 3D object.

Material Jetting

A printhead moves along x, y and z axes to create 3D objects and are cured by UV light or harden as layers cool.

Kinetic Consolidation

The nozzle sprays metal particles at high speeds and fuse upon impact with surface, creating near net shape parts that require post processing to required resolutions.

Additive manufacturing in summary

An Additive manufacturing / 3D printing process takes a 3D CAD file, slices it into 2D layers, and additively builds up a part layer by layer. 3D printing is a transformative approach to industrial production by transitioning from analogue to digital. It is the most direct way of manufacturing with digital flexibility and efficiency to manufacturing operations.

Find out how Additive Engineering utilises 3D printing / additive manufacturing to help industries accelerate prototypes, as well as manufacture lighter, stronger, more precise metal products cost effectively.

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