FMI additive manufacturing and 3D metal printing
FMI leads the way in 3D metal printing. It makes FMI unique having all necessary operations to produce final products under one-roof.
What is additive manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing (AM) is the term used for technologies that build three-dimensional objects.
Additive Manufacturing adds layer upon layer of material to an object. This, as opposed to conventional, subtractive manufacturing processes such as turning, milling and drilling, whereby surplus material is removed, often ending up as waste. There are several different additive manufacturing technologies, 3D printing being the most well-known.
Additive manufacturing at FMI
At FMI we use 3D printing to create metal products such as medical implants.
We are one of the leading additive manufacturing companies to have a full-blown, commercial 3D printing facility. It has become an integral part of our production process. We use 3d metal printing to manufacture products such as a whole new generation of surgical implants. At our state-of-the art facility in Tilburg, we run series production 3D printing on a commercial scale.
FMI instrumed is a ISO 13485 certified company and we are FDA compliant. As required by these standards, we have all our processes validated. All of our products are laser marked, as a requirement for traceability.
How does 3D printing technology work?
Using Computer Aided Design, 3D computer models of the required object are created. These are uploaded into the metal printer. Using the models as building instructions, the printer, adds a metal powder layer by layer, each time fusing the layer into solid metal a high-power laser. In this way, complete 3D objects or in our case products are constructed by the printer.
At FMI we do not consider additive manufacturing as a standalone process but as an integral part of our production process. This makes FMI unique as we not only have the facilities for additive manufacturing but also the necessary skills and CNC machinery to transfer powder in to a fully finished product, all 'under one roof”.
The benefits of 3D printing
3D metal printing is an exciting new technology with some real major advantages:
- Highly efficient, producing minimal waste ( Traditional, subtractive manufacturing = up to 90% waste);
- Create new 'impossible' geometries, complex features and fine details;
- Design up to 60% lighter products;
- Ideal for individual bespoke products, tailored for very specific situations i.e. medical implants;
- Turn designs into into products very quickly, ideal for rapid prototype development.