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.