Metal additive manufacturing (MAM), or metal 3D printing, has the potential to profoundly change the production, time-to-market, and simplicity of components and assemblies. Unlike conventional or subtractive manufacturing processes, such as drilling, which creates a part by removing material, additive manufacturing builds a part using a layer-by-layer process directly from a digital model, without the use of molds or dies that add time, waste material, and expense to the manufacturing process. Additive manufacturing has been used as a design and prototyping tool for decades, but the focus of additive manufacturing is now shifting to the direct production of components, such as medical implants, aircraft engine parts, and jewelry.
Credit: Jennifer Lauren Lee/National Institute of Standards and Technology
Additive manufacturing is not a single type of technology or process. However, all additive manufacturing systems employ a common layer-by-layer approach, but they use a wide variety of technologies, materials, and processes.
Additive Manufacturing technologies utilizing metal powders:
* Powder bed process
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