Digital composite 3D printing

Additive manufacturing (AM) company AIM3D explains how adding digital aspects to its process improved some part characteristics.

Mapping a 3D printing process as a continuous digital process chain from component design to the production and post processing is the logical consequence of a digital AM strategy. This objective that AIM3D has set itself has been taken up by Naddcon research and development center for technical innovations in AM based in Lichtenfels, Germany.

The main task of its cooperation with AIM3D was to embed a industrial design tool into the process chain: in this case, Siemens’ NX end-to-end computer-aided technologies (CAx) system, which contains computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer aided engineering (CAE), as already used for the conventional manufacturing of components in the machining industry.

Naddcon integrated an ExAM 255 from AIM3D into the NX environment to make a 3D composite extrusion modelling (CEM) system accessible as a digital 3D machining system.

CEM combines metal injection molding (MIM) with the process technologies of AM. It is based on both fused deposition modelling (FDM) and the metal injection molding process (MIM) and combines both approaches into an additive 3D manufacturing strategy.

The hardened nozzle of a CEM extruder is made of steel and enables an output of up to 250 cm³/h. It can be changed quickly and is relatively easy to maintain, making it suitable for some abrasive materials such as glass fiber reinforced polymers, metals or ceramics.


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