Akron Company Adopts Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) Machine for Large-Scale Projects
Additive manufacturing (AM) represents the future of the manufacturing industry and Northeast Ohio is at the center of AM innovation. Home to America Makes, the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing, Northeast Ohio is uniquely-positioned to help businesses adopt and leverage AM technologies. With a strong manufacturing base, a variety of university and institutional resources, as well as connections to end-user markets already using 3D printing technology (like biomedical and aerospace), Northeast Ohio continues to build a thriving AM cluster that is progressively turning the region into an additive manufacturing hub.
Helping position Northeast Ohio as an additive manufacturing hub are several innovative companies and organizations. One such example is a company called Additive Engineering Solutions (AES) based in Akron. AES is the first contract manufacturer dedicated to providing large-scale additive manufacturing services for tooling. In December of 2016, AES secured a Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine, which wowed crowds at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in 2014 where the machine was used to 3D print a drivable car. AES purchased the massive machine from Ohio-based Cincinnati Inc.
To see just how large the BAAM machine is, check out this time-lapse video showing the delivery and rigging of AES’ own machine.
So, what’s so special about BAAM? While the average 3D printer is used to print parts that would fit in a shoebox, BAAM can produce large-scale products, measuring 5 ½ feet wide, 13 feet long and 6 feet tall. As 3D printed parts are usually limited in size, BAAM provides AES a unique ability to print large pieces for tool manufacturers, faster than standard 3D printers. Before AES’ adoption of its BAAM machine, the technology had been regulated to universities, labs or large companies. Serving as a contract manufacturer, AES is now able to bring this innovative technology to a wider pool of potential customers. With direct applications for the aerospace & defense, automotive, energy, and marine industries, the large-scale AM services offered by AES continue to drive AM innovation forward.
As Northeast Ohio builds its reputation as an additive manufacturing hub, the expertise being developed at AES further enhances the region’s competitiveness. For companies looking to adopt additive manufacturing technologies, Northeast Ohio is ground zero for the latest AM innovations, as AES illustrates.
To learn more about additive manufacturing in Northeast Ohio, please click here.