4/17/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

When Additive Manufacturing Goes Beyond "Manufacturing"

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

An additive manufacturing machine is not a direct replacement for a machine tool. Its influence potentially extends far beyond the manufacturing floor, a fact explored in the latest issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is sometimes discussed in contrast to “subtractive manufacturing,” but that’s not entirely accurate. Thinking in terms of additive versus subtractive sets up an unhelpful equivalency between an additive manufacturing machine and a machine tool. A machine tool serves a specific purpose: removing metal from an existing workpiece. An AM machine, on the other hand, can represent a range of operations.

Metal 3D printing has the potential to displace casting, for example, while polymer 3D printing could help sidestep injection molding. Either form of printing offers the potential for part consolidation, reducing or avoiding assembly. The on-demand nature of AM can change how parts are stored and shipped, altering how a manufacturer thinks about inventory and transportation. 3D printing even opens up new approaches for marketing a product to buyers.

Additive manufacturing, therefore, touches more than just “manufacturing.” The latest issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine explores how AM’s reach extends beyond the shop floor, touching accounting, marketing, operations, design and more.

Stories in this issue include:

  • Why the CEO's perspective is critical in the decision to implement AM;
  • How the economics of 3D printing enabled a niche smartphone case manufacturer to go to market through Amazon Prime;
  • One company’s mindset shift from 3D printing for prototyping to 3D printing for functional tooling and machine parts;
  • A report on the qualities that make a good AM engineer; and
  • A preview of the 3D printers, materials, software and auxiliary equipment to be displayed at Rapid + TCT in May.



Want to learn more about 3D printing?

Sister publication Additive Manufacturing explores how manufacturers are applying 3D printing to make tooling, molds, functional prototypes and end-use parts. Subscribe.

Hand holding a crystal ball

We’d rather send you $15 than rely on our crystal ball…

It’s Capital Spending Survey season and the manufacturing industry is counting on you to participate! Odds are that you received our 5-minute Metalworking survey from Modern Machine Shop in your mail or email. Fill it out and we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. Are you in the U.S. and not sure you received the survey? Contact us to access it.

Help us inform the industry and everybody benefits.


Related Topics