3D printing continues to revolutionize the industryMüller Ahlhorn
In 3D printing, material is applied layer by layer under computer control, so that three-dimensional structures or objects are created. The material can be applied from several liquid or solid materials according to given dimensions and shapes. The form itself is solidified by physical or chemical hardening or melting processes. Typical materials for 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, are plastics, resins, ceramics, and metals.
The market for 3D printing systems at a glance
From prostheses to components for wind turbines – the variety of applications seems to be endless. This is also reflected in the figures. The turnover of the 3D printing industry is constantly increasing worldwide. According to the BMBF, the industry has already exceeded a worldwide turnover of around 4.5 billion euros in 2015. In 2020 the turnover is expected to rise to approximately 11.45 billion Euro. According to a survey by the ICT industry association Bitkom, 3D printing is considered by many companies to be a key technology for the future. According to Bitkom, 78 percent of companies across all industries in Germany believe that 3D printing is likely to profoundly change business models and value chains.
The influence of 3D printing is increasing across all industries
The development of 3D printers is setting new standards in production: on-demand and resource-efficient with less waste. 3D printing makes it possible to produce complex components cost-effectively in small quantities. This makes it possible to produce prototypes and special components across industries with low resource consumption and budget. 3D printing systems only use as much material as is actually needed. Nowadays, 3D printing is indispensable in many industries.
One of the pioneers in the 3D printing industry is the aerospace industry. The price of individual components is less important there than their efficiency and weight. 3D printing offers the ability to make design changes for weight savings and durability. This can lead to savings in operating costs, such as fuel expenses.
In dental technology, 3D printing is increasingly entering the market and could have a disruptive effect on existing dental labs. 3D printing can now be used to produce high-quality dental prostheses, inlays and implants. Especially in the field of implant production there is a lot of potential, as components cannot be produced on mass but have to be individually adapted to the individual patient.
In the field of mechanical engineering, the production of special components plays a major role. In the past, one had to wait for special components in order to start up or maintain a machine. Nowadays, the production of these components is possible on-demand by means of 3D printing. This enables higher operating times of production plants and makes the storage of special components and the associated logistics superfluous.
With 3D printing, novel cooling concepts can be applied to injection molding tools that could not be realized by milling and drilling before. By printing injection molding tools, cooling channels can be inserted with maximum degrees of freedom, so that the service life of the tools and the associated production rate of injection molded parts can be significantly increased.
In summary, additive manufacturing is already gaining ground in the following areas:
- Individual and customer-specific manufacturing: Dental and medical technology, prosthesis production and components for hearing aids
- Individual jewellery and shoes
- Reduction of costs for the storage of special components through on-demand production: mechanical engineering, automotive industry with focus on the classic car market and the luxury segment
- Small series production for cost-intensive components: aircraft industry and mechanical engineering
- Production of prototypes in small series, for which the construction of a production facility does not pay off (rapid prototyping)
- Model making, home and entertainment
Creating components made easy
With the novel Digital Fabricator, Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH is expanding the range of products and services offered to its customers. Whether 3D printing, CNC, milling, punching or laser, all areas are covered by one system. The Digital Fabricator combines the different manufacturing processes into one system, so that the ideal solution is available for the production of components.
Obtain high-quality components quickly and easily with our Digital Fabricator:
- Upload CAD file
- Select the desired manufacturing process
- Select material
- Get a quote in seconds
- Offer and order at the push of a button
Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH is a global solution provider of electrical insulation materials, thermal conductivity products, gaskets and technical films. We manufacture precision components from flexible and rigid materials.
We operate 6 locations and serve companies all over the world.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact our expert team via the contact form, by phone or send us your ideas directly via e-mail.