Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is a mechanism through which a digital design creates a physical object. It is a revolutionary approach to industrial production that allows for smaller, stronger parts and systems to be easily produced. It is progressively changing how industrial companies engage the manufacturing process. The capacity to construct complex shapes with an extremely large variety of materials allows designers tremendous flexibility of design thus saving considerable time and money in the development process — something that appeal to every industrial manufacturer. Communications, engineering, architecture, and imaging have all undergone their own technological revolutions in recent decades. Now additive manufacturing can bring the manufacturing operations with digital flexibility and efficiency.
(Source: Robotic Industries Association)
Additive manufacturing uses 3D object scanners or data computer-aided-design (CAD) software to direct hardware to deposit material layer by layer, in detailed and specific geometric shapes. The additive manufacturing, as its name implies, adds material to construct an object By comparison, when you build an object using traditional means, the removal of material is often necessarily done by milling, machining, cutting, forming or other ways.
Although the concepts of “3D printing” and “rapid prototyping” are used loosely to describe additive manufacturing, each process is in reality a subset of additive manufacturing. Although it seems like a fresh concept, in fact, it has in reality been around for many decades. Through the right applications, additive manufacturing provides a perfect combination of enhanced performance, simplified fabrication, and complex geometries. Ultimately, there are abundant of opportunities for those who fully embrace additive manufacturing.