Successful redesigning for AM is a question of understanding, know-how and support

The successful application of additive manufacturing (AM) starts with a design drawn up on the basis of the technology. During the 'Design for additive manufacturing' masterclass those present acquire knowledge and understanding about designing components specifically for AM. The role of the Sirris experts is essential during the masterclass for transferring in-depth knowledge and to address immediately specific questions.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been deployed for some considerable time now with the production of prototypes, although there are increasing applications for functional end-products. In order to apply AM successfully it is crucial that you already have the necessary knowledge of the various technologies in-house. The 'Design for additive manufacturing' masterclass offers you a comprehensive and detailed overview of AM technologies, including the potential benefits, as well as the limitations. And it doesn't stop there.

Julien Magnien is one of 20 additive manufacturing experts at Sirris. He specialises in AM technologies with metals, polymers and ceramics and keeps a close eye on the evolution of the technology. Julien is one of the experts who provides support and interaction with the participants during the masterclass: "Via the masterclass we want to give the designers the necessary know-how so that they can achieve a better understanding by themselves. Moreover, it is an excellent opportunity to keep up-to-date with what's going on in industry."

Achieving solutions together

In Belgium, and in Europe for that matter, Sirris holds a unique position in the field of AM: already back in the 1990's it decided to go deeper into this new, pioneering technology and today it has collected an invaluable inventory of practical knowledge and experience in more than ten different AM technologies, covering applications in both machinery and materials.

Julien: "The experts teach the designers through using all the knowledge and experience they have acquired, thereby helping the designers to find their own solutions. From Sirris' unique position, we are able to provide them with the most extensive overview of the existing technologies, plus the opportunities, the advantages and disadvantages, and furthermore we can help them with their own case studies on a step-by-step basis in order to achieve designs suitable for AM. The starting point is based on our own experiences, and over the course of the 3-day event we gradually complement this with the questions that arise from the participants. We learn about the actual challenges by way of the mainly specific questions that arise. We are often confronted with completely new approaches to specific situations or problems, when even the experts finds it difficult to find answers! But by working on the problems together and finding solutions, both parties take on new knowledge and acquire different insights."

The importance of the big picture

It is essential to be continuously learning where AM is concerned. It remains a relatively new type of technology and switching over from traditional technologies to AM is seen by most companies as an enormous step to take. Often people only have knowledge of certain aspects of AM and so they tend to base everything on this when making decisions. Newer companies are more likely to take the step, but are less likely to possess the necessary experience.

Julien: "Sirris is able to help in both cases. We not only have more than 25 years of experience, but we have also built up an extensive partner network allowing us to offer companies a complete framework to work in: from the initial concept, to the design, and then through to realization of the final product. Knowledge of the bigger picture is essential in order to obtain a proper picture of the opportunities presented by AM and to achieve successful redesign. You have to have background information about the whys and wherefores. Sirris can present companies with a realistic picture of the opportunities available with AM so that they can eventually reach a fully substantiated decision. This is the key to successful innovation."

Would you like to know what switching to additive manufacturing could mean for your product or process?

On 19 and 20 May, 11 June 2015, Sirris will once again be giving the 'Design for Additive Manufacturing' masterclass where you can acquire the knowledge and understanding for designing components specifically for AM. This would result in you fully benefiting from the available advantages. Would you like more information about the masterclass? You can find it here!

Take a sneak preview of this masterclass!