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What You Should Know About Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is steering industries in ways never thought possible. One of its most appealing features is its self-containment capability. That is, it can print not only your item but also build the infrastructure that will support it throughout production. In contrast, traditional manufacturing will require weeks or months to develop a prototype. As a result, additive manufacturing has become popular among innovators, particularly in developing complex designs. You always want to rely on a quality company like Addup Solutions. So, what is additive manufacturing, and what makes it appealing?

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What Is Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing is a 3D process of building objects one layer at a time by depositing material like plastics, composites, or biomaterials to create objects ranging in size, rigidity, color, and shape. Manufacturers can print carbon fiber parts used in the motor industry or even human body parts, as proven by some medical researchers. The process requires a 3D design file that is then sent to a 3D printer to build a solid object. AM systems have been used to develop lightweight components, optimized material distribution, and complex geometries by many companies and organizations, including NASA, McLaren, and even restaurants like Sushi Singularity.

Unlike the traditional subtracting manufacturing system, which involves cutting chunks from an object, using, for example, a milling machine until the final product is archived, additive manufacturing adds building materials into the developing product until the final piece is complete. Whether you are using a FormUp machine for precision work or another piece of equipment, the quality of equipment is so important.

What Makes Additive Manufacturing Appealing?

First, it gives the manufacturers the ability to build a prototype quickly and manufacture crucial products and components. For example, additive manufacturing was in the frontline in tackling challenges posed by COVID-19 by supplying health workers with personal protective equipment and patients with ventilators.

Second, it enables the production of complex shapes using fewer materials than the traditional methods slashing production costs.

Third, it has the potential to innovate in vast manufacturing industries. NASA and other companies like SpaceX use additive manufacturing in producing crucial rocket spare parts and other sensitive spares that would otherwise be impossible to make through conventional methods. More recently, a US-based housing company, ICON, uses proprietary additive 3D printing robots to build homes for needy people around the world. Other involved companies include New Balance, a shoe company that is looking to use the process in their products and revolutionize how we make shoes.

While all these are significant improvements in our manufacturing industries, researchers have predicted the global 3D sector to grow to $41 billion by 2026, contributing to reduced manufacturing costs, faster product development, and improved customization.