What is Additive Manufacturing?
When people think of printing, they often think of ink and paper. But, as more manufacturers look to add flexibility, resiliency, and responsiveness to their supply chains, 3D printing is poised to disrupt an entire industry.
But what exactly is 3D printing? It’s the process of printing by adding multiple layers upon each other, rather than printing a single layer of ink.
What is Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing?
Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to create objects based on digital models. Many engineers might say "additive manufacturing" is a more accurate term, and it is in industrial applications, but people commonly refer to the process as "3D printing."
As the term suggests, the joining occurs layer by layer, with one layer of material added to another in a continuous process. This additive process distinguishes 3D printing from subtractive and formative manufacturing technologies such as machining, casting, and molding. The objects are the 3D printer’s physical output, created using digital models, typically computer-aided design (CAD) files.