Advanced manufacturing solutions are giving those that make things for the government new tools that make it possible to make things more quickly, more efficiently and more cost effectively compared to traditional techniques and methods.
And yet, despite the evident benefits and use cases, it’s still a “poorly-kept secret” that the government has fallen behind on embracing technologies like additive and subtractive manufacturing and generative design. This ultimately results in things costing more in taxpayer dollars to produce and keeps the government from benefiting from increased speed or production and new, previously unheard-of design possibilities.
For manufacturers that make things on behalf of government organizations looking to take advantage of these new technologies, KETIV hosted a live event on January 21st that brought together their team of Certified Advanced CAM Experts to go over Autodesk’s advanced manufacturing solutions and answer any questions that users had.
To help us understand the benefits of these advanced manufacturing solutions and how this event and these technologies would help government users, we sat down with Jason Peters, KETIV’s Government Sales Executive.
This is what he had to say:
GovDesignHub (GDH):To begin, “advanced manufacturing” can mean any number of different technologies and processes. What specific manufacturing techniques will be covered on January 21st? What makes each one unique and in what use cases are each particularly useful?
Jason Peters: We will begin the session on January 21st with a discussion around the traditional approach to manufacturing and then will discuss advanced manufacturing technologies including generative design, additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, and injection molding.
Generative design is unique because it gives you hundreds of viable, CAD-ready design solutions to choose from at the start of the product development process, which is beneficial to improving an organization’s ability to innovative and get to market faster. Most importantly, generative design takes into consideration the manufacturing process of a product, resulting in viable solutions that can be manufactured with tools specific to you. Common use cases for generative design include part consolidation—taking something that used to be 8 parts and making it into a single manufacturable part that is either lighter or more cost efficient, or both.
Additive and subtractive manufacturing are two technologies that when combined, can yield a much more efficient workflow and streamline design to manufacturing lead times. The combination of both additive and subtractive manufacturing, or more commonly known as hybrid manufacturing, will also be highlighted in the session, and we’ll be discussing workflows and focusing on its benefits.
GDH: What can these manufacturing techniques do for people who make and design things for the government? What value do they bring to the table?
Jason Peters: Autodesk’s advanced manufacturing solutions help the government in a few different ways.
Within the DoD, they play a crucial role in supporting DoD mission readiness. The DoD has aging weapons systems that are frequently down for maintenance and repair issues. Due to the age of these weapons systems, many replacement parts are no longer available from the OEMs. So, Autodesk’s advanced manufacturing tools help these maintenance units reverse engineer and re-manufacture replacement parts quickly and efficiently, thus helping get these weapons systems back into rotation. The technology is also used to design and manufacture custom support structures to help execute their mission in these areas.
They also empower on-the-fly manufacturing. Several government organizations now have mobile labs where they use Autodesk technology to help manufacture parts on-demand out in the field. This can be critical to meet the urgent needs of a mission as they come up.
Autodesk solutions are also supporting innovation in R&D. Several agencies are utilizing Autodesk advanced manufacturing technology for rapid prototyping and developing new ways to make various system components lighter, stronger and cheaper to manufacture. To support this process, Autodesk technology is also able to predict failures in the design early on in the process – this helps minimize waste in the early phases of prototyping and gets the desired components ready for use a lot faster.
Lastly, Autodesk’s 3D printing technology is used in the bio-medical space to develop items such as artificial body parts and 3D printing of a variety of components to support medical training efforts.
GDH: During the session, you’ll be introducing tools like Autodesk Moldflow, FeatureCAM, PowerMill, NetFabb, PowerShape and PowerInspect. Why are these software solutions key to unlocking these advanced manufacturing processes?
Jason Peters: These software solutions enable processes like generative design to occur. The software allows designers and engineers to take a more unconventional approach to their everyday problems. While generative design is some pretty advanced functionality, the requirements to get it to generate parts are not difficult at all. All you need are your performance criteria, constraints, and a knowledge of your fabrication options.
Then, let the computer do the CAD work.
Tools such as NetFabb and PowerMill enable users to unlock the potential of additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies, either by building the product layer by layer and optimizing your production process allowing for more complex geometry to be created or by leveraging the powerful 5-Axis capabilities that PowerMill brings to the table, which also allows for more complex geometry to be created while minimizing manufacturing time.
GDH: KETIV’s team of Certified Advanced CAM Experts will be leading this event. Why is that level of expertise and certification significant? Why does that make them especially qualified to lead the session and why does it mean that they can deliver value in ways that few others can?
Jason Peters: The CAM Specialization means KETIV has the expertise and resources to sell, implement, and train your teams on Autodesk’s full portfolio of advanced manufacturing solutions. This specialization gives us the ability to not only help our customers in the design and engineering phases, but also helps them produce products that are more complex than ever.
Our certified team was put through a rigorous certification process, which included numerous training videos directly from Autodesk that covered workflows and backgrounds on the software. After the training, the team was given a test about what the tools are capable of and how to access each feature. Finally, the team had to put together a professional demonstration using both sales and engineering to showcase the advanced manufacturing process. This process ensured that each member of the team was able to speak to the value of the entire advanced manufacturing offering and provide the best solution to our customers.
These certified experts will be presenting the session on January 21st on Advanced Manufacturing. With their expertise, our customers will be able to ask very detailed questions about process, workflow, and product and get the answer right away.
For more information—and to register—for KETIV events, click HERE.