Additive Manufacturing (AM)

We supply powders in a range of materials for AM processes including steels, stainless steel, nickel, cobalt, titanium and aluminium alloys.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) of metal powders is the fastest growing metal forming technology. These processes enable economic component production with efficient use of materials and vastly increased design freedom, compared to traditional subtractive processes.

What is Additive Manufacturing

The ASTM International Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies defines additive manufacturing (AM) as “The process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional (3D) model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methods.” What is Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing is the process of converting a digital model into a solid three-dimensional object. With the many technologies that have been developed over the years the common feature of AM is the creation of a physical model layer by layer.

Compared to subtractive processes like milling, additive manufacturing generally provides greater geometric freedoms and utilizes less material. In contrast to forming processes such as injection moulding or composites layup, 3D printing does not require a mould or other tooling to create a part.

Additive manufacturing has been shown to be a good option in production applications where long lead times or associated costs preclude the use of expensive tooling; complexity of geometry is advantageous; and/or low volumes are required, though the quantities appropriate for 3D printing continue to increase.


Primarily used in the aerospace and medical industries, AM is now being applied to an ever-expanding collection of end markets including automotive, dental, heavy equipment, oil and gas, rail, marine, and even consumer goods. See some examples below:

AM aerospace
AM aerospace
  • Production of lightweight parts with complex geometry, e.g fuel nozzles
  • Stationary turbine components
  • Reworking of burners (stat. turbine)
  • Weight reduction parts, e.g. buckles

What are the Benefits of Additive Manufacturing?

The advantages of AM technology have long been recognised for simple prototyping and small-scale production runs, but the latest developments in the technology could mean it will also be cost-effective to mass-produce with 3D printing.

This technology provides the capability to transform and enhance product development and production in a wide range of sectors and applications. It can enable the reconfiguring of supply chains allowing production close to the point of consumption and deliver the benefits of mass customisation.

Additional benefits include:

  • Design freedom and ability to create complex structures
  • Choice of materials to suit specific application requirements
  • Lightweight components helping to reduce costs and energy consumption
  • Reduced assembly costs
  • Reduced inventory costs – no need to hold material in stock
  • Less material waste as AM uses a layer by layer approach to add material
  • Reduced lead times and set up times as no tools are required for additive manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing Processes

Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
Warehouse - Righton Blackburns

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Righton Blackburns Powder Metals

Building 38,
Second Avenue,
The Pensnett Estate,
West Midlands, DY6 7UN
+44 (0)1384 276 400
Additive manufacturing