Cummins has sold its first metal part printed on one of its own 3D printers, moving the company a significant step closer to the exciting potential of additive manufacturing.
The company is focusing first on printing low-volume parts as it studies how best to use 3D technology in higher volume manufacturing.
Parts can be made lighter, stronger and more effective using metal 3D printing compared to parts created using more traditional methods that employ molds, molten metal and equipment to precisely cut and shape the part.
3D printing creates three-dimensional objects one ultra-thin layer at a time. If the part doesn’t come out quite right, the designer can simply change the computer design file and print it again; a much faster process than using traditional manufacturing techniques to build a test part.
Finally, the technology enables designers to combine multiple parts into one printed object, creating the ideal geometry to avoid potential failures at weldments, gaskets and joint assemblies needed using traditional manufacturing methods.