Fortus 3D Production Systems produce accurate, durable prototypes and production-grade parts using high-performance thermoplastics.
It`s all about Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) Tasman Machinery’s stand (stand number D164) during this year`s Austech exhibition in Sydney.
Austech 2012 will for the first time see a dedicated additive manufacturing (AM) pavilion, and Melbourne-based Tasman Machinery will demonstrate its Fortus 400mc 3D Production System.
The machine, powered by FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) technology from Statasys Inc., will allow visitors to gain an understanding of how AM and DDM can help organisations save money, reduce lead times, and increase design and manufacturing flexibility.
While many AM processes have become popular for rapid prototyping of new product designs, FDM has expanded beyond simply proving out designs, Dermid McKinley, managing director says.
"Where once people viewed the 3D printing sector as the domain of designers and the prototyping sector, our most successful customers use our machines as full production machines, producing everything from assembly jigs through to end-user parts to replace injection moulded and CNC machined components," McKinley said.
The Fortus 3D Production Systems have a place in nearly every modern tool room in Australia.
Powered by FDM technology, they free users from traditional design and manufacturing limitations, enbabling them to produce manufacturing tools and put them into service just hours after your design is complete.
According to McKinley, the trend towards DDM is especially evident in manufacturing jigs, fixtures and other tools used in production and assembly processes.
It is also being used to create custom end user components as well as medical parts. He says that’s because DDM processes such as FDM, developed by Stratasys, can be faster, more affordable alternatives to manufacturing such parts via machining or injection moulding.
The FDM process melts solid plastic and extrudes it through nozzles about as thick as a human hair. Those nozzles lay fine beads of molten plastic layer-by-layer to quickly build parts directly from a 3D CAD model.
"AM has gained significant momentum in recent years, particularly in advanced economies such as the US or Germany.
"AM or FDM allows an approach to manufacturing that we believe very much suits economies such as Australia and New Zealand.
"We can never compete against the mass production of low cost economies, but we can certainly compete in manufacturing markets where design volumes are relatively low and complexity and sophistication of design is necessary. This is where FDM and DDM marry up perfectly."
McKinley sees the market in a point of transition, where Australian manufacturers are beginning to understand and invest in AM technologies.
He encourages visitors to visit the Tasman stand to discuss whether DDM is right for them.
In the long run, McKinley believes that every engineering shop that currently has a CNC machine, will one day also have an AM machine in the future.
The technology is particularly suited for low production volume or high design complexity, because additive processes such as FDM are insensitive to design complexity.
Instead of machining parts or cutting a tool for moulding, DDM is a cost-effective and simpler alternative for manufacturing smaller quantities of finished goods, and the engineering-grade thermoplastics guarantee accurate, durable parts that match the strength of injection moulded parts.
Provided by: Tasman Machinery