Have you ever needed a part that's just not commercially available? Or maybe you need a custom-made part for your project but don't have the means to produce it yourself? In times like these, additive manufacturing (AM) might be the perfect solution.
As a Carbon 3D Production Partner, Nicolet Plastics offers tailored manufacturing solutions for low-volume production, proofs-of-concept, and customization, with tool-free design flexibility and fast turnaround times.
What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an industrial production term for 3D printing, a computer-controlled process of depositing layers of materials to create a three-dimensional object. It makes parts by adding material layer by layer, which produces complex designs that wouldn't be possible with traditional manufacturing methods. Unlike traditional manufacturing, which often requires machining or other techniques to remove surplus material, 3D printing additive manufacturing is built layer by layer.
How Does It Work Additive Manufacturing Work?
With additive manufacturing, objects can be created with precise geometric shapes using computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners. The process can create high-quality parts comparable to thermoplastic injection molding in minutes instead of hours.
Industrial additive manufacturing has a wide range of distinct processes. As a general guide, here's how it works:
Directed Energy Deposition
Ceramics, metals, and polymers can all be additively manufactured using direct energy deposition. As a bed moves vertically, a laser, electric arc, or electron beam gun melts wire, filament, or powder.
Using a 3D printing head, it can deposit alternating layers of powdered material and a liquid binder.
After pouring liquid resin photopolymer into a vat, using mirrors to direct ultraviolet light cures the successive layers of resin.
As the nozzle moves horizontally and vertically, melted material is built layer by layer. The nozzle or bed is mounted on a movable arm to extrude or draw polymers through a heated nozzle. It adheres using chemical bonding agents or temperature control.
Two technologies can be used for sheet lamination; laminated object manufacturing (LOM) and ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM). The alternate layers of paper and adhesive make laminated objects ideal for creating items with visual or aesthetic appeal. UAM is capable of joining aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium sheets with low energy, low-temperature method of joining thin metal sheets.
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing offers the following benefits:
- End-Use Quality: With engineering-grade resins, no trade-off between surface finish and mechanical properties.
- Design Flexibility: Use it for proof of concept before moving to mass production or for complex designs like lattice structures.
- Engineering Resins: Our engineering-grade materials include elastomers for consumer products, biocompatible silicones, and high-temperature automotive materials.
- Fast, Tooling-Free: Achieve proof of concept before investing in tooling with end-use parts without tooling. It reduces the time to market and the possibility of design changes.
Our Additive Manufacturing services
Using Carbon’s Digital Light SynthesisTM technology, Nicolet Plastics produces parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish using digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins.
Carbon harnesses molecular science with breakthrough technology to make parts with consistent mechanical properties and strength in all directions, including the z-axis.
We make things that weren’t possible before
Additive Manufacturing is growing in popularity for a good reason. It’s an efficient and versatile process that can create various products with intricate details. If you need additive manufacturing services for your next project, contact us today for more information. We’d be happy to help!
Time-to-market is critical to being competitive. We pushed Nicolet Plastics to provide tools within a very aggressive timeline and they delivered samples in just six weeks.Dean Walters | Invivo Corporation
Customer Success Stories
- Add value by increasing efficiency
- Implement automation with fast payoff
- Simplify multi-part tool programs
Nicolet Plastics University
Proprietary Education Course
- Exclusive customer training
- Brings disciplines together for accuracy
- Injection molding technology, materials, tooling, & RFQ process
- Ensures tools are specified correctly
Explore Our Other Services
Nicolet Plastics offers insert molding to help enhance your part’s strength and durability, increasing its number of uses.Learn More
Tooling & Prototype Support
We’ll assist with the design, sourcing, and inspecting of a tool to precisely fit your needs. All tools receive routine preventive maintenance.Learn More
Design For Manufacturability
Design for manufacturability (DFM) is a critical early stage in the development process to ensure repeat quality at the lowest cost.Learn More
Metal to Plastic
Read about the many benefits of converting metal parts to plastic molded parts.Learn More
Post Molding and Assembly Operations
With our value added services, you can reduce labor and overhead, SKUs, and consolidate vendors. Spend more time doing what your company does best!Learn More