Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
Since its creation in 2004, PRODINTEC has been working on the development of additive manufacturing technologies. The advanced manufacturing area focuses on AM designs, processes, equipment, production and post-processing. Its equipment allow the center to produce parts in a wide variety of materials: metals (aluminium, titanium, Inconel, stainless steel, tool steel, chrome-cobalt, etc.), polyamide (pure and filled with aluminium), resins (with varying degrees of springiness), ceramics, etc. In addition, its technicians are experts in redesigning parts to maximize the potential of this technology and thus achieve improved performance.
Also, PRODINTEC deals with R&D projects on this field at regional, national and international level and leads strategic initiatives for the definition of new R&D policies. Moreover, the center belongs to the Management Board of the AM sub-platform since 2008.
Additive manufacturing consists in the manufacture of parts from a 3D model without the need for moulds or tooling of any kind by means of the depositing of layers of powdered material and its subsequent consolidation, which may be performed by laser sintering, ultraviolet light curing or the addition of a binder, depending on the technology employed.
The advantages of this technology include the ability to reproduce any geometry imaginable, providing an immediate response to changing market needs and meeting the increasing consumer demand for differentiation and customization of products.
Additive manufacturing is particularly popular in the fields of medicine (manufacture of medical implants, customised orthopaedic products and surgical tools, and surgical planning and scheduling), moulds and dies (manufacture of parts with internal cooling channels, inserts or hybrid moulds), aerospace and automotive (manufacturing of parts with lightweight structures or internal channels subject to frequent design changes), architecture and topography (model making) and education (model making).