News . Corporate

18 Oct 2019

Makers and doers

Akhani means ‘to make’ in Zulu, which makes it the perfect name for the new 3D printing venture launched by Kemtek and Rapid 3D. This is also the ideal time to launch an additive manufacturing (AM) business, as this technology – which has shown promise for several years now – has begun to ‘tip’ into mainstream manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing technology has been threatening to do this for some time, and with the added impetus provided by this new company, this process will be greatly accelerated here in southern Africa.

Making the transition

2019 represents a pivotal moment in the history of this exciting technology. No longer regarded as a novelty, 3D printing has proven its worth. It enables companies to design and test prototypes – and perfect them – as part of a much-more streamlined, cost-effective process.

As additive manufacturing has become more widespread, even greater economies can be achieved. This only further enhances the appeal of this technology. Akhani is therefore ideally positioned to spearhead the next phase of the expansion of 3D printing.

New technology is enabling additive manufacturing in an ever-widening range of materials, from chocolate to metal. While edible 3D printing has applications in the catering industry, the scope for AM in metal is almost limitless.

It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine a scenario where spare parts for your car are printed while you enjoy a coffee at the service centre. Rather than put up with a courtesy car for weeks while you wait for specific parts to be imported, they could be created to order so that you can drive home in your own vehicle.

No margin for error

As additive manufacturing has advanced in leaps and bounds, objects can be created that meet ever more demanding quality control standards, and stringent tolerances. The fact that additive manufacturing is being used to create aerospace components illustrates the extent to which is has gained the confidence of manufacturers and customers.

3D printing in metal had been regarded as the ‘final frontier’ for this technology. Now, however, the advent of direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology means that intricate metal parts can be made through additive manufacturing.

Adding a sheen to metals manufacturing

DMLS does not of course involve the extrusion of molten metal. Rather, the process relies on a high-powered laser to selectively fuse and melt metallic powders. Layers of atomised fine metal powder are fused according to designs generated by CAD technology to create 2D ‘slices’ of the final object.

Being able to create metal objects in this way has the potential to extend the rapid prototyping benefits of additive manufacturing to more industries than ever.

Showing our mettle

Akhani’s commitment to metal additive manufacturing is clear from their investment in the cutting-edge EOS M290. The first machine of its kind in South Africa, this is a clear statement of intent from a company that may be newly formed, but draws on 15 years of real-world experience.

Akhani’s tagline, Make Possible, perfectly sums up the goals of this joint venture between Kemtek and Rapid 3D. By leveraging their experience and expertise, and embracing the very latest technology, the Akhani team will make possible the transformation of ideas into reality.

The advantages of being able to bring new products to market that much faster will doubtless not be lost on more forward-thinking manufacturing companies. These are exactly the sort of enterprises that Akhani has been formed to assist. The companies who are making the impossible, possible, and who are not afraid to make their own way in increasingly competitive markets.

Click here to contact Akhani and make a difference to the way that you prototype and manufacture test components.