Mastering Metal Additive Manufacturing: The Success Story of Innovative 3D

In Franklin, Indiana, Innovative 3D Manufacturing has uncovered the key to sustained profitability in metal part production and prototyping through additive manufacturing (AM): Avoid build failures whenever possible. Specializing in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), the company excels in achieving high success rates, printing parts correctly on the very first attempt in well over 90% of cases.

The company’s co-founder and operations manager, Chris Beck, attributes this remarkable success rate to a strategic integration of CNC machining into their AM processes. By overspecifying support structures and added stock around 3D printed features, Innovative 3D mitigates the risk of part distortion and build failure. Their reliance on vertical machining centers further enhances stability during the additive build process.

Founded in 2017, Innovative 3D has rapidly evolved into a leading AM part producer, boasting a dozen LPBF machines from Renishaw and a thriving business primarily focused on commercial work. Despite the unassuming exterior of their facility, the company operates at full capacity, running seven days a week to meet the demands of their diverse clientele.

A significant portion of their success stems from close collaboration with customers, both in terms of maintaining a sterling reputation for reliability and offering consultative guidance to optimize part designs for additive production. Beck emphasizes that only about one in eight parts offered for additive manufacturing actually makes sense for 3D printing, underscoring the importance of thorough communication and shared understanding with customers.

Moreover, Innovative 3D’s expertise in additive manufacturing has opened doors to machining opportunities, as AM provides an entry point to vendor lists and facilitates partnerships with OEMs seeking effective prototyping solutions. Despite the company’s growing focus on additive production, Beck recognizes the value of maintaining machining capabilities for diversification and as a backup plan.

As the company continues to thrive in the realm of AM, Beck remains committed to guiding potential additive jobs toward the most suitable manufacturing process, leveraging Innovative 3D’s expertise and reputation to capitalize on opportunities that align with their core strengths.

Original source MMS

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