The lightened trend in design and manufacturing becomes stronger every day. In automotive and aerospace, it is driven by increasing global demands to improve fuel economy and lower emissions in land vehicles and aircraft. In the medical industry, the use of smaller devices with less material increases design flexibility and enhances the patient experience
Two areas of great promise in reducing weight the world is generative design and additive manufacturing. The generative design helps engineers design solutions that would be virtually impossible to imagine and impractical to model with traditional CAD software.
The additive manufacturing brings “incalculable” these earlier designs to life. Together, the two technologies are beginning to help engineers across numerous industries radically reduce the total weight or significantly improve the strength and durability of the components without adding weight.
However, where this approach has been limited, it is with larger products. Additive manufacturing can print complex and high-performance structures created by generative design, but 3D printing with metal is restricted to relatively small objects and only certain alloys. Cast metal, on the other hand, can be used to make large structures of virtually any metal or alloy. But traditional mold making processes used in metal casting limit the form and complexity of what can be done with casting.
Today, these limits are disappearing as experts in generative design, additive manufacturing and metal casting collaborate to make the most of the three technologies.