Additive Manufacturing Is Driven By Materials

The July issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine looks at the ways that materials are enabling 3D-printing technology and opening up new applications.


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When we think of additive manufacturing, we tend to think about the machines—the 3D printers capable of building parts bit by bit and fashioning never-before-seen part geometries. As new processes arrive and additive manufacturing machines continue to evolve, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of 3D-printing technology.

However, additive machines deliver value only by applying a material, and the advance of the technology will ultimately demand and be driven by new materials. The metals that are familiar to machinists and the polymers that injection molders use today are not necessarily the best stock for 3D printing. To move forward, additive manufacturing requires materials that have been tailored to the additive process.

That’s why materials are the focus of the latest issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine, sister publication to Modern Machine Shop. This month’s cover story details how a metal-powder supplier created a custom titanium alloy for a specific 3D-printing application. Other stories in this issue cover a solution for inspecting metal powders as well as 3D-printed parts; a process to 3D print with a ceramic slurry; advances in polymers, including one that will be used in parts for a NASA spacecraft; and soft robotics made possible by 3D printing active materials.

Also in this issue:

Read the digital edition here.