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Metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal additive manufacturing (metal AM), 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.

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:

Laser Sintering (LM/SLS/SLFS)*
Electron Beam Melting (EBM)*
Selective Inkjet Binding (SIB)*
Laser Powder Forming (LPF)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)/Extrusion
* Powder bed process


Metal Additive Manufacturing

Credit: Jennifer Lauren Lee/National Institute of Standards and Technology

Association for Metal Additive Manufacturing (AMAM)

The Association for Metal Additive Manufacturing formed in 2017 as a voice for metal AM companies with captive/in-plant metal AM operations, as well as those companies manufacturing such products for sale on the open market, material suppliers to those companies, and equipment suppliers that support the metal AM industry. Membership is limited to commercial entities and will not include academic institutions, government agencies, research-only organizations, or professional societies. These non-commercial entities are important and can contribute but their role will be ancillary.

If your company is interested in membership, please visit our Membership Benefits page