In the paper “Sustainable Additive Manufacturing”, the consultancy Roland Berger scratches below the surface and examine the reality behind the hype. What it finds is a more nuanced picture: Additive manufacturing can indeed make a potentially vast contribution to carbon-neutral economies. However, it must become more transparent about those areas where it still falls short. It must openly assess every phase in the lifecycle of AM-produced parts – AM materials production, parts manufacturing, parts useage and disposal/recycling – to showcase its true potential and benefits. It must also work hard to genuinely improve its overall environmental footprint .
Johnson & Johnson’s orthopaedics company Depuy Synthes has harnessed 3D printing technology to develop one of its new ATTUNE Knee products.
The ATTUNE knee portfolio consists of implants and components that support knee restoration, addressing a supposed 20% of Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) patients who report difficulties completing activities like kneeling and getting in and out of a car.
DePuy’s ATTUNE Cementless Fixed Bearing Knee with AFFIXIUM 3DP Technology is the first product within this portfolio to lean on 3D printing. With 3D printing technology, DePuy has been able to create a three-dimensional lattice structure which generates a similar porosity to natural bone for advanced biological fixation and helps to enhance initial implant stability.
Understanding additive manufacturing standards helps the AM community achieve reliable processes, including the critical design for AM. Several gaps between existing and needed standards for design were identified in the Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) Standardization Roadmap for AM. In 2021, America Makes and ANSI brought together subject matter experts from industry, government, and academia for a discussion to lay the groundwork for further development and refinement of the DfAM aspects of the roadmap.
AM experts discussed the importance of design standards; sharing that design involves materials properties, meeting regulatory requirements, building confidence, as well as tools to communicate consistently and better education. Built into any consensus standard is experience of those who have identified best practices allowing everyone in the community to benefit from both their successes and failures.
Additional discussion included identifying how the needs for DfAM have changed in the last couple of years, why the needs are changing, how AM design standards different from more traditional manufacturing technologies, and the unique quality considerations, particularly with the progressively more complex designs enabled by AM. With all of this complexity, the participants also noted an increased availability and use of analytical and simulation tools specific to the design and workflow for AM.
A complete report on the workshop including slides and transcript are available on the ASMC website.