Much of our previous discussion surrounding medical applications for additive manufacturing involves metal-based devices and implants. While metal compounds will continue to bring revolutionary opportunities to medical science, there is a growing interest in the use of polymers and other soft materials in additive manufacturing. Explore Polymer-Based Additive Manufacturing below.
About Polymer-based Additive Manufacturing
Polymer-based additive manufacturing is used for applications ranging from medical and aerospace to protective gear, tooling, and the development of functional prototypes. Sharing some of the same benefits as metal additive manufacturing, polymer-based creations reduce time-to-market, improve the quality of a product, and are developed at a fraction of the traditional cost.
A “Roadmap” for Future Development
As part of an initiative to increase awareness and commercial usage of polymer-based additive manufacturing, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the Measurement Science Roadmap for Polymer-Based Additive Manufacturing. The guide features the desired capabilities, foreseeable challenges, and priority research and development topics in using polymer for additive manufacturing.
The guide is a result of presentations, discussions, and group sessions that took place last June at the Roadmap Workshop on Measurement Science for Polymer-Based Additive Manufacturing at the NIST campus, in Maryland. The workshop brought together over 100 additive manufacturing experts, from both public and private entities, with the intention of developing a comprehensive plan to further the use of polymer-based additive manufacturing. Topics featured at the workshop included a need for materials categorization, in-situ process measurements, performance, process modeling, and more.
Additive manufacturing is a top research priority at NIST. Interest in polymer and other soft materials in additive manufacturing is growing, due to a range of properties and processability. NIST hopes the report will be able to guide and assist public and private entities in furthering the research and development of polymer based additive manufacturing.
What Workshops Like LAM 2017 Have to Offer
Like the Roadmap Workshop, LAM offers attendees the opportunity to meet with leaders, researchers, and innovators in additive manufacturing to discuss the present functions and future opportunities presented by additive manufacturing technology. Guests from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Fraunhofer IWS Dresden, and South China University of Technology will be present at LAM, addressing the challenges faced by innovative additive manufacturing applications. While metal-based additive manufacturing is still largely a focus, those interested or involved with polymer and other soft materials may still benefit from the workshops, sessions, and vendors found at LAM. For a full list of sessions at this year’s event, click here.
LAM takes place February 21-22, 2017 in Houston, Texas. For more information regarding the conference, location, or to register, please visit: https://www.lia.org/conferences/lam