Additive manufacturing is a technological advance, often associated with the fourth industrial revolution.
As its name suggests, the additive manufacturing process works by adding materials. Layers of materials are successively deposited on top of each other until the desired object is created.
This so-called additive process makes it possible to obtain parts on demand according to a precise 3D model. Logically, this technology is opposed to subtractive manufacturing processes (milling, machining, injection molding, etc.), where material is removed to obtain a part.
For all additive manufacturing processes, there are actually lots of individual processes which vary in their method of layer manufacturing. These processes are generally categorized into several areas.
For example, VAT Photopolymerization uses a vat of liquid photopolymer resin, out of which the model is constructed layer by layer. Material jetting, on the other hand, creates objects in a similar method to a two dimensional ink jet printer. Material is jetted onto a build platform using either a continuous or Drop on Demand (DOD) approach.
Then there’s the binder jetting process uses two materials – a powder based material and a binder. The binder is usually in liquid form and the build material in powder form. A print head moves horizontally along the x and y axes of the machine and deposits alternating layers of the build material and the binding material.
A very popular additive manufacturing process is called material extrusion. Fuse deposition modelling (FDM) is a common material extrusion process and is trademarked by the company Stratasys. Material is drawn through a nozzle, where it is heated and is then deposited layer by layer. The nozzle can move horizontally and a platform moves up and down vertically after each new layer is deposited.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Additive Manufacturing Training Bootcamp, a 2-day course that helps participants facilitate the safe and successful implementation of additive manufacturing (AM) for engineers, designers, product managers, project managers, technicians and other professionals.
Our multi-tier bootcamp curriculum guides participants through foundational industry knowledge to in-depth, hands-on experiential learning. Participants will learn about 3D Printing, special features, processes, software, material and postprocessing techniques.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.