3D printing (additive manufacturing)

Based on the 3D model data, the SLM produces the implant which exactly matching with 3D model – fast and in high precision and quality.  The parts produced are absolutely true to size, one hundred percent proof and require little post-processing.  Compared to the conventional casting technique, producing with the SLM 50 starting at around 100 units per month is economically feasible.

COMPUTER NUMERICAL CONTROL (CNC)

5-axis machining is able to move a tool or a part in five different axes simultaneously.  Basic machining operates on three primary axes, X,Y and Z; however, a 5-axis CNC machining tool can rotate two additional axes, A and B, which gives the cutting tool a multidirectional capability.

CONTROL: MAX4
Table Size ……………………….. 7.8″ x 7.8″
Maximum Table Load ………………… 330 lbs
Travels: X-Axis Travel …………….. 21″
Y-Axis Travel …………………….. 16″
Z-Axis Travel …………………….. 19″
Spindle: Spindle Speed: Minimum (RPM) .. 0-10,000 rpm
Spindle Taper …………………….. CAT 40
Main Motor (HP) …………………… 12 hp
Tool Changer Positions …………….. 20 atc
Rapids All Axes……………………. 945 ipm
Cutting Feed Rate …………………. 300 ipm

Additional Spec’s 5 Axis Table Size: 7.8″
Max. Part Diameter: 12.6″

3D Printing vs CNC Machining

3D printing

vs.

CNC

3D printing

Better known as additive manufacturing (AM) technology, 3D printing uses a digital model of an object and the 3D Printer prints 3D objects in subsequent layers to realize the final complete object.  AM builds up a part in layers, depositing metal only the place where it should be. This reduces material waste as compared of that to CNC machining.

The AM pre-processing can be much faster than the complex programming required for CNC tool path generation.  Finally, Metal AM requires no tooling, so can be cheaper than tooling-based processes (casting, forging, or stamping) for low-to-mid volume production. The reduction in material waste and rough cutting time is very important for cost formation.  If the near-net-shape can be printed quickly and cost-effectively, large overall benefits in time and cost are achieved.

CNC Milling:

This is just the opposite of 3D printing and is also known as subtractive manufacturing technology.  IN this case, a block of solid material is being shaped by using cutters or rotating mills. These rotating mills work on digitally fed codes from CAM software and the cutters remove the unnecessary parts of the block all according to the codes.  These cutting processes are very accurate. Several geometries can be shaped. In addition, machining has low tooling requirements – reducing fixed costs and lead time.  Machining is usually the first choice for rapid, low volume manufacturing, and is used extensively for prototyping, tool production, and short-run production of end use parts.

The pain point for machining is its high price and it does not scale well for high volume production.  Further shortcomings are high material waste, expensive machinery, and the requirement for skilled programming time.  In addition, for hard metals like titanium and tool steel, cutting times and tool wear are very high.

Products examples

CNC machined implants

4.5mm Locking T-plate, 5 holes (Front view)

4.5mm Locking T-plate, 5 holes (back view)

4.5mm Straight reconstruction Plate, 4 hole

4.5mm Narrow compression Plate 7 Holes

3D Printed samples: SLM, and SLA

Micron level accuracy