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Additive manufacturing is a specific 3D printing process.

This process builds parts layer by layer by depositing material according to digital 3D design data.

The term “3D printing” is increasingly used as a synonym for additive manufacturing. However, “additive manufacturing” better reflects the professional manufacturing process that differs significantly from conventional, subtractive manufacturing methods.

For example, instead of milling a workpiece from a solid block, additive manufacturing builds the part up layer by layer from material supplied as a fine powder. Various metals, plastics and composite materials can be used.

The benefits of additive manufacturing are considerable. First of all, the cost of entry has continued to fall. So there’s no need for organizations to worry about a large amount of capital investment. Industrial-quality printers are affordable and so are the common materials.

Additionally, organizations save on material waste and energy.

Also phototyping costs much less using additive manufacturing technology. Rapid phototyping is now even easier on your time and monetary budgets. The cost for a CNC milling setup is expensive and its subtractive process piles up material costs. The expense of an AM prototype is comparatively cheaper.

The savings add up as businesses test iterations using additive manufacturing. As you make the necessary design adjustments and print a new part, there’s near-instant proof that your updated design meets the requirements.

It’s also been proven that small production runs often are faster and less expensive. Of course, if you need 10,000-plus of a single, basic part, it probably is worthwhile to set up a mold. However, if you only require a handful of the same part, an additive manufacturing process is likely faster to print them.

Small-batch manufacturers especially benefit from additive manufacturing.

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.

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