Additive manufacturing, does it sound familiar? Well, this manufacturing process is famously known as 3D printing. Does it sound common now? Have you heard the people around you say, “I’m going to go additively manufacture a new mobile case” or “Let’s 3D print it!” Sounds cool, right? But it will sound cooler if you have the knowledge on what 3D printing is all about.
What is additive manufacturing?
Surely there would come a time in the future that most people would look back and re-evaluate the manufacturing methods we use today. And probably, they might compare
the processes of today to those of the future as simply blacksmithing, old and conventional. However, it is highly interesting as one of our manufacturing systems today is actually the same as blacksmithing. This process is known as subtractive manufacturing.
Subtractive manufacturing is all about the removal of material in order to produce something. We all know that to be able to make a product, a blacksmith must hammer away at heated metal. At present, a CNC machine cuts and drills and otherwise removes material from a larger initial block of material to create a product. It’s unproductive and uneconomical. Other manufacturing techniques abound but they all essentially whittle down raw material into a product.
And as you have already concluded, additive manufacturing produces something by adding material to the object. You can put some here, some there, and you can leave it empty if there’s no need. This is a very efficient process as there is no waste accumulated.
Why is 3D printing considered as a game changer in the manufacturing industry?
Well, a technology that can instantly print parts as well as the entire product is really something, don’t you think so? Not only that, 3D printing has invaded every aspect of
the industry all over the world, most especially our personal lives.