In today’s competitive landscape, the drive toward sustainability has never been more crucial. Industries worldwide are actively pursuing innovative solutions to minimize their environmental impact, striving for sustainability, and ultimately achieving more efficient processes. Traditional manufacturing processes have historically caused issues connected to high fossil fuel consumption, energy usage, waste generation, and pollution, leaving industries searching for environmentally friendly production methods.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is transforming this landscape by introducing a wave of sustainability benefits that significantly lessen the environmental impact while not compromising on quality and innovation.

Here’s how additive manufacturing is increasing sustainability:

Reduced Material Waste

In numerous industries, Additive Manufacturing has made substantial strides in reducing material waste in final parts by as much as 80%. Unlike traditional subtractive processes like machining and casting, which often result in significant material waste during production, Additive Manufacturing builds components layer by layer, utilizing only the necessary material for the part. This additive approach not only minimizes waste but also optimizes material usage, resulting in more efficient production and a reduced environmental impact.

Energy Efficiency

With manufacturing industries’ energy consumption making up 76% of the total usage, Additive Manufacturing shines as a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional manufacturing methods. By streamlining processes and minimizing the need for extensive machining and assembly, Additive Manufacturing lowers overall energy consumption during production.

Additionally, the ability to produce lightweight components through Additive Manufacturing offers significant benefits in sectors such as aerospace and automotive. Lightweight parts lead to improved fuel efficiency in vehicles and aircraft, as they require less energy to propel or lift off the ground. This reduction in weight not only lowers fuel consumption during operation but also contributes to lower emissions and overall environmental impact. By leveraging Additive Manufacturing to create lightweight components, industries can achieve substantial energy savings and contribute to a more sustainable future.

On-Demand Production

Additive Manufacturing revolutionizes the traditional production model by enabling on-demand manufacturing, leading to remarkable benefits for sustainability. This innovative approach significantly reduces the requirement for large inventories and the associated storage costs. By producing items only as needed, Additive Manufacturing eliminates wasted resources and minimizes the environmental impact of excess production.

Localized Production

Additive Manufacturing enables localized production, offering a key strategy to reduce the environmental impact of extensive global supply chains. By manufacturing parts closer to the point of use, companies can significantly lower transportation emissions and support local economies. This shift towards decentralized manufacturing not only reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping but also enhances supply chain resilience. By fostering local production, businesses can mitigate environmental and economic risks linked to global disruptions, while promoting sustainability and supporting community growth.

Extended Product Life Cycle

Additive manufacturing facilitates the repair and maintenance of existing products, extending their life cycle. For instance, it can be used to produce spare parts or to repair damaged components, reducing the need to manufacture entirely new products. This capability is particularly valuable in sectors like aerospace, where maintaining and repairing high-value equipment can significantly reduce waste and resource consumption.

Innovative Design

The design freedom offered by Additive Manufacturing allows engineers to create more efficient and sustainable products. Complex geometries that optimize material usage and improve performance can be easily achieved with Additive Manufacturing. For example, lightweight lattice structures and internal cooling channels can be integrated into designs to enhance functionality and reduce material usage. This level of design innovation can lead to products that are not only better performing but also more environmentally friendly.

Materials Selection

The evolution of sustainable materials for Additive Manufacturing is progressing at a rapid pace, with researchers and companies exploring the use of recycled and bio-based materials in 3D printing. These eco-friendly materials not only decrease reliance on finite resources but also play a pivotal role in nurturing the circular economy. Through the utilization of sustainable materials, Additive Manufacturing fosters the recycling and reuse of resources, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to production.

A Greener Future

Additive manufacturing can enhance companies’ sustainability initiatives by reducing material waste, enhancing energy efficiency, enabling on-demand and localized production, fostering innovative design, and more. It offers a pathway to more sustainable production in a variety of industries. As the technology continues to evolve, its potential to contribute to environmental sustainability will only grow, making it a key player in the green industrial revolution.

At EAC Additive, we are committed to helping companies implement additive manufacturing technology, enabling them to achieve environmentally friendly solutions that not only conserve money, resources, and time but also contribute to a sustainable future for all.

New Creo 11 enhancements

Just like fine wine, Creo keeps getting better with time! Creo 11 by PTC offers numerous enhancements to improve the productivity, usability, and functionality of frequently used tools. In this blog post, we will explore the key updates in Creo 11 that aim to streamline workflows, enhance user experience, and boost efficiency in product design.

Usability Enhancements

Easily Access Creo Options

One of the standout features in Creo 11 is the ability to search and find settings in the options dialog easily. That being said, this enhancement enables you to locate relevant Creo options more quickly, reducing time spent navigating through menus and improving overall efficiency.

Improved Model Tree

Creo 11 introduces improved collapse/expand behavior and renaming capabilities in the model tree. Specifically, these enhancements enhance the user experience by making navigating and managing complex assemblies and parts within the software easier.

Enhanced Drag Handles

Due to popular demand, the software now offers improved drag handles for feature dimensions, simplifying identification and manipulation controls for complex features. This improvement simplifies the editing process and ensures a smoother user experience.

Selection Enhancements

Flexible Selection Options

Creo 11 introduces box, lasso, and trace selection support, providing you with more flexibility in selecting multiple surfaces and entities. You can now toggle between selecting all surfaces or only visible surfaces, improving the precision and speed of selection workflows.

Multi-Body Design for Sheetmetal

With the introduction of multi-body design capabilities for sheet metal parts, Creo 11 simplifies single-part design workflows and enables you to split single sheet metal parts into multiple parts. As a result, this feature allows for greater control over manufacturing and design costs and facilitates the design of multi-thickness sheet metal parts in context.

Simplification Features

Shrinkwrap and Merge Options

A new shrinkwrap option in Creo 11 allows you to collect bodies from referenced assemblies into a single part, streamlining the creation of simplified models. So, merge options for bodies in assemblies offer flexibility to keep separate objects, merge into single bodies, or merge all bodies for efficient design workflows.

Modeling and Design Enhancements

Enhanced Features

Creo 11 enhances modeling capabilities with features such as enclosure volume and new options for point patterns, for increased flexibility, and faster regeneration. These improvements aid in the creation of bounding boxes for optimization purposes and streamline pattern referencing workflows.

Welding and Surfacing Improvements

Welding Capabilities

Creo 11 provides a faster and more flexible definition of spot welds through improvements in spot welding functionality, joint members, and XMCF features. These enhancements increase productivity and eliminate additional steps in the welding process.

Surfacing Enhancements

Surfacing with freestyle and style features, including rotational pattern support, new bevel operations, and improved curve editing controls are new enhancements. These updates offer greater control over curves and surfaces, improved usability, and streamlined workflows for working with multi-level subdivisions.

Design for Electrification

Routed Systems

Creo 11 introduces improvements to routed systems, allowing for easier design and creation of electrical systems within the software. These enhancements include cabling, removal locations capability, dynamic previews in the graphics area, expandable filtering, and undo/redo functionality. These enhancements increase productivity and make designing and managing electrical systems easier within Creo.

ECAD

In addition to the improvements in routed systems, Creo 11 also includes enhancements to ECAD (Electronic Computer-Aided Design) functionality. Users of Solidworks and Inventor might know this as electrical-mechanical integration and compatibility enhancements. Enhanced ECAD visibility simplifies control and understanding of ECAD layer presentation through data visibility. These enhancements improve usability and provide more flexibility in the design of electrical systems.

Design for Composites

In addition, Creo 11 introduces expanded functionality for designing composite materials. This includes the ability to modify transitions in graphics, improved usability for laminate sections, and enhanced draping simulation. These enhancements make it easier to manage and visualize composites, improving usability and productivity. Additional improvements include zone-based design, enabling faster creation of large-scale composite products, and a conceptual top-down approach to composite design.

As for Model-Based Definition (MBD), Creo 11 also includes enhancements to make it easier to organize and manipulate data in a tabular form. MBD enhancements in Creo 11 include creating tables, adding semantic references, and supporting parameter callouts. Also, Creo 11 introduces support for STEP AP242, allowing for the export of PMI (Product and Manufacturing Information) information in a machine-readable format.

In simulation-driven design, Creo 11 introduces enhancements to improve accuracy and productivity in time-based motion analysis. These include updates to solvers, expanded structural and fluid results, and a new conjugate heat transfer capability. These enhancements allow for faster and more accurate predictions of heat transfer and structural optimization based on simulation results.

Design for Manufacturing

Connection Lattices

In response to the rise in additive manufacturing demands, Creo 11 introduces a new lattice command to connect two or more separate lattices, giving you more flexibility to create complex lattices. This workflow is straightforward and can be performed inside the same familiar Lattice UX. Additional enhancements include beam lattices, stochastic lattices, randomization value, and defining pore size. Moreover, you can also adjust simplified lattices using warp and export in 3MF/STL format. Finally, Creo 11 has added a penetration option for simplified lattices, providing additional flexibility to prepare parts for 3D printing, particularly in medical implants.

Subtractive Manufacturing

Creo 11 introduces new 4-axis rotary roughing and finishing toolpaths, which can pass 360 degrees and be used for crew-type parts. Also, Creo 11 supports end mill, ball mill, and bull nose mill. These enhancements provide automated roughing and finishing sequences, which will be applicable for automotive and oil field crankshafts, camshafts, and drill heads.

Milling

Another enhancement is trajectory milling or CAM Programming, which allows you to define entry and exit movement along the direction of the cut, reducing the possibility of breaking small tools. This method is also more efficient, saving time spent on retracts. Additionally, Creo 11 supports curves not on the surface and trim retract motion to a plane. You can now easily manage the display of manufacturing geometry in the graphics toolbar.

Turning

Creo 11 has modernized 4-axis area-turning user interfaces, providing a streamlined and consistent user interface across all toolpaths. Improved material removal cut functionality for profile turning and additional area turning capabilities have also been added to the 4-axis. Creo 11 now supports user_output_point, CUTCOM support at each slice, clear distance, and turn profile start and end driving the cut direction.

These enhancements in Creo 11 provide you with greater flexibility, productivity, and efficiency in all areas of your product design. By incorporating these new features, Creo 11 continues to lead the industry in product design and manufacturing. You can watch the Creo 11 Webinar to learn more at your convenience or reach out to one of our experts to see which enhancements would benefit you the most!