Metal Replacement and 3D Printing

The most common materials in metal replacement are typically technopolymers, but recently, high-performance polymers and composites have become increasingly popular for this use. This selection can be attributed to their excellent properties in terms of mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance.

One of the main advantages of metal replacement is weight reduction, as in many different sectors, such as aerospace and defense, transportation, and automation industries, weight plays a key role in determining efficiency. In these sectors, the lower the weight, the lower the energy or fuel consumption, and the higher the process efficiency.

Metal Replacement and sustainability: Roboze additive manufacturing in aviation

Aviation takes the lead in benefit opportunities for metal replacement applications. When an airplane has to fly, it is essential to lower its weight because every kilo saved leads to 73 tons less CO2 per year. Roboze additive manufacturing systems empower airlines to lower the carbon footprint, using the design freedom of AM to print optimized lightweight structures that would be difficult and expensive to produce with traditional technologies. Furthermore, with super polymers and composites such as PEEK and Carbon PEEK, it is possible to replace those components that have been produced with metals, lowering the aircraft's weight even more and its environmental impact.

How to reduce air transport’s environmental impact with Roboze solutions

An example of metal replacement for this industry can be seen in an air duct application manufactured with Roboze 3D printing technology which was designed to aid in lowering costs and emissions of aircraft. The original part was produced with traditional manufacturing but, using the rules of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM), changes were made to the geometry of the duct. The final molded part is functional and more geometrically efficient, and its sustainability has been successfully increased with a 35% weight reduction.

Roboze 3D Printing and the Circular Economy: the trend of a future within reach

A further step to increase sustainability through additive manufacturing systems is the recycling of the waste material produced in each 3D print. First, Roboze is working to minimize the amount of supports needed by educating the mindset of designers and engineers in Design for Additive Manufacturing: our application engineers work closely with customers, offering training and solutions to integrate our technology into their workflow. Secondly, Roboze is developing partnerships with major filament manufacturers in order to find innovative and sustainable 3D printing solutions, together with our materials scientists, to recycle waste material.

This is the latest step of Additive Manufacturing towards a circular economy.

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