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Petrovic V.,AIMME Technological Institute | Vicente Haro Gonzalez J.,AIMME Technological Institute | Jorda Ferrando O.,AIMME Technological Institute | Delgado Gordillo J.,AIMME Technological Institute | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Production Research | Year: 2011

In modern industry, mass production has migrated to third world countries. To be competitive, European companies are forced to rapidly switch towards manufacturing of short series of customised products with added value. In European industry, a great effort has been made in order to customise products and give them an added value by developing new fabrication technologies. Additive layered manufacturing (ALM), also known as rapid manufacturing (RM), is a powerful tool that offers the necessary competitiveness to European companies. ALM comprises the use of layer-by-layer manufacturing in order to build a part by addition of material. Fabrication is performed directly from the 3D CAD model, which is sliced into layers that are printed one upon the other. Also known as free form fabrication, additive fabrication 'unlocks' design potential since part design obeys functionality, pushing the limits of manufacturability. In this paper, the authors review ALM technologies and the state-of-the-art of ALM applications in tooling, biomedicine and lightweight structures for the automotive and aerospace sectors. The authors present their experience in industrial application of additive fabrication through various industrial technology transfer projects made to transfer ALM technology to SMEs. Various case studies are presented and the achieved benefits of ALM are shown. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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