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3D printed metal parts in Europe achieve mass production
A few days ago, the European Space Agency (ESA)'s 'Additive Manufacturing Project Aiming at Efficient Production and Zero Waste of High-Tech Metal Products' (AMAZE) proposed that for the first time large-scale production of 3D printed metal parts will be realized. These 3D printed metal parts can be used in projects such as jets, spacecraft, and nuclear fusion. It is understood that the advantage of 3D printing technology is that it can manufacture complex structural parts that are difficult to obtain using traditional casting and machining methods, and there is little or no material waste. The dramatic reduction in manufacturing steps also brings huge cost benefits. 3D printing equipment is expected to completely change the way of life of human beings, but 3D printing equipment is only suitable for a single material (mainly plastic), which is of little value for many industrial applications. The AMAZE project was launched in January 2013. The project brings together 28 companies and institutions that are also committed to using 3D printing technology to develop lighter, stronger and lower cost complex metal structural parts, including: Airbus, Enterprises such as Astrium, Renishaw, Norwegian Titanium Company, universities such as Cranfield University, University of Birmingham, UK Callum Fusion Energy Center, etc. The five-year, €20 million AMAZE project's primary goal is to rapidly produce large-scale zero-defect additively manufactured metal parts with virtually zero waste. The next step is to make parts 50% cheaper to manufacture than traditional processes. The project will establish pilot-scale additive manufacturing plants in France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the UK to develop industrial supply chains. The AMAZE project will design, validate and deliver a factory-level oriented, modular and streamlined workflow that provides maximum flexibility for the additive manufacturing process and significantly reduces delays associated with non-value-added work. The AMAZE project will also significantly increase the commercial application of additive manufacturing in-situ inspection, process feedback, novel post-processing processes, and clean rooms, thereby improving the overall quality level of parts, dimensional accuracy and manufacturing efficiency, and reducing industrial scrap rates to less than 5%.