The ability to creative just about anything from additive manufacturing (3D printing) opens incredible possibilities.  Additive manufacturing has evolved from the original plastic to metals, carbon fibers and much more.  Because of recent developments in additive manufacturing, it may surprise you what products are now being made, using this technology. 

Automotive:  Ford Motor Company now uses in-house additive manufacturing for its tooling fabrication processes.  Creation of prototypes, and use of sand cores and molds using the additive process may have saved an estimated four months in production and millions of dollars in Ford’s prototype creation process.

Medical: Additive manufacturing is being used in several medical applications such as medical instruments, prosthetic limbs, artificial joint replacements, body tissues and if progress continues, eventually, organs. Where once prosthetic limbs could be cost prohibitive for those who needed them the most; today, additive manufacturing can be used to create strong, lightweight more affordable options that are perfectly shaped body parts.  Another medical application is not yet refined enough for regular use, but one day scientist hope to be able to replicate organs and tissues of the body.  Skin is the easiest organ to replicate with this technology, but the real goal is to be able to replace a damaged heart, easily  the most difficult task with additive technology.

With that said, how can the automotive and medical fields know the additive manufactured parts will perform?  Materials Testing labs such as NSL Analytical Services can help manufacturing companies before, during and after production.  In the Additive manufacturing industry, NSL Analytical Services can provide testing services on powder metals and ceramic feedstock, prototype designs and final products.  NSL Analytical’s materials testing facilities are approved and certified in:

  • ISO/IEC 17025 Certification and Scope [ANAB]
  • Nadcap Certification and Scope [PRI]
  • ASME NQA-1 Compliant
  • GE Aerospace S-400

NSL Analytical Services testing capabilities include:
Material Composition,  in which chemical analysis is conducted, of trace and major elements for R&D and specification conformance (10 ppb to 100 ppm)
Powder Characterization to determine Density, Flow rate, particle size and distribution, and particle shape.
Validation of Metal Printed Parts through Metallurgical analysis, Mechanical testing, Microstructure analysis, Processing issues, SEM and EDX Analysis, Component and product failure analysis.

If you have a part or product that needs to be tested, visit NSLAnalytical.com to find out tests available to you, or submit a request for a quote.  NSL Analytical Services works with many industries to facilitate R&D, production and product failure analysis.  When you need answers you can rely on, when you need them, visit NSLAnalytical.com.