Filters are not the first thing you think of when considering possible applications for metal additive manufacturing (AM). However, a company in the UK has made its mark 3D printing a range of innovative products in this field. Neil Burns, co-founder and director at Croft Filters and Croft Additive Manufacturing (CAM), explains why AM is the future of filter manufacturing.

With the current global market estimated by some reports to reach US$80 billion by 2018, which would mark a 6.2% year-on-year increase,1 it is safe to say the filtration industry is huge. Manufacturing is forecast to be the fastest growing market, with rising production benefiting aftermarket filter demand.

At Croft Filters, we are continually researching practical changes that can be made to existing products by using AM. With 28 years’ experience producing filters for multiple industries, we found that certain items simply could not be manufactured using traditional, subtractive methods. After researching the potential of additive manufacturing (AM), we realised it provided a viable and cost-effective alternative to subtractive production methods when making certain complex components.

As a result, in 2013, Croft Filters invested almost half a million pounds in an AM machine and launched its sister company, Croft Additive Manufacturing (CAM), to specialise in the production of metal filters and components using this advanced AM technology.

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