Searchable Additive Manufacturing Database to Link Components, Projects

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SAN ANTONIO, June 24, 2021 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will create a searchable database of additive manufacturing projects and components. The project is supported by funding from America Makes, a Manufacturing USA and Department of Defense innovation institute with more than 200 members from industry, academia, government, nongovernment agencies, and workforce and economic development resources.

Additive manufacturing uses 3D printing (or rapid prototyping) to build an item by layering materials for a custom, computer-generated design. Users include those in the aerospace, medical, and manufacturing industries.

An April 2021 report from Lux Research said the additive manufacturing industry is expected to grow to $51 billion by 2030.

To start to create the database, SwRI research engineer Shengyen Li will work with an existing database that includes components from over 200 additive manufacturing projects. These projects, which begin as computer-aided design models, are saved as files that can be uploaded into 3D printers for metal and plastic additive manufacturing. The new project will categorize and sort these files to help engineers identify specific projects of interest, and enable engineers to review previous projects from America Makes.

Li plans to complete the initial database this year before discussions on further development.

Published: June 2021
additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a manufacturing process that involves creating three-dimensional objects by adding material layer by layer. This is in contrast to traditional manufacturing methods, which often involve subtracting or forming materials to achieve the desired shape. In additive manufacturing, a digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and this digital model is then sliced into thin cross-sectional layers. The...
3d printing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is a manufacturing process that builds three-dimensional objects layer by layer from a digital model. This technology allows the creation of complex and customized structures that would be challenging or impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. The process typically involves the following key steps: Digital design: A three-dimensional digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This...
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