TechSolutions 12: An Overview of Additive Manufacturing, Part I

TechSolutions 12: An Overview of Additive Manufacturing, Part I
In This Issue: 

In the 21st century, consumer markets demand less expensive products that can be manufactured faster than in previous generations of a product. Therefore, advances in manufacturing concepts and technologies must be achieved to reduce new product development times, manufacturing cycle times, and production costs. The cost of procuring and setting up traditional production machinery (e.g., mills, lathes, grinders, etc.) can increase the unit cost of a product, and the impact is exaggerated if only a small number of units are being produced. Moreover, traditional production processes are subtractive, which means that the finished product is machined out of a larger block of material, and thus generates material waste. As the 21st century loomed on the horizon, manufacturers and product designers researched the ability of processes like additive manufacturing (AM) to reduce machine cycle time and waste. Additive manufacturing refers to a process that builds up a� component in layers.[1] Additive manufacturing is known by several different names, the most common of which are rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, rapid manufacturing, direct digital manufacturing, and solid free-form fabrication. This article provides an overview of AM processes and presents current and emerging applications of AM technology for commercial and defense industries.

Publication Date: 
August 1, 2009

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