Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) refers to the application of 3D printing to create functional, industrial components including prototypes, tooling and end-use production parts. AM’s advantages include the freedom to produce small batches of intricate parts cost-effectively, as well as the freedom to realize part designs that would not be manufacturable in any other way, and in some cases to use materials that otherwise would be impractical to apply. The range of processes finding industrial applications includes direct metal deposition, electron beam melting, polymer processes such as fused filament fabritcation (FFF), and select laser sintering (SLS) or melting (SLM), among others. Some hybrid machine tools combine additive manufacturing with subtractive CNC machining. Modern Machine Shop has a sister magazine, Additive Manufacturing, that focuses on AM.

AM IN718 Test Specimen

Grind to Finish: A Postprocessing Solution for Additive Manufacturing

3D printed metal parts typically feature little stock remaining for finishing. Grinding is potentially an effective solution for meeting final tolerances. An abrasive technology provider investigates grinding as a complement to AM.

Combining Additive and Subtractive Processes for Hybrid Machining

At this point, we are still learning how to combine the two to optimize hybrid manufacturing.

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Software Checks Part Data for 3D Printing Feasibility

The updated AM Part Identifier (AMPI) from 3YourMind automatically checks large part databases to detect which parts may represent good business cases for 3D printing, and whether to switch from traditional to additive manufacturing (AM) for any given part.



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