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What is Additive Manufacturing?

What is 3D printing or additive manufacturing? Watch professor Brecht Van Hooreweder explain more.
So, let’s start with explaining what is additive  manufacturing and what is 3D printing and what   is the difference between those technologies and  the more conventional subtractive technologies.   Additive manufacturing has been called many names  going from 3D printing to rapid prototyping,   rapid manufacturing, freeform fabrication. All  of these words mean the same but for sake of   simplicity, in this webinar we will continue  with the internationally acknowledged term   of “Additive Manufacturing”. You might think  that additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a   relatively new technology, but actually already  in 1987 Chuck Hull commercialized the first   3D printer which was a stereolithography  machine that you can see on this picture.  
What you can see here is that during  the last years this technology has been   booming worldwide and we see also this  represented in the sales of only metal   3D printers that is represented in this  graph. You can see starting from 2000 to 2017   there is a significant increase in metal 3D  printers that were sold on the world market.  
Definition of 3D printing is process of joining  materials to make objects from 3D model data,   usually layer upon layer. Also referred  to as additive manufacturing. And this   group of technologies actually covers a  wide range of manufacturing techniques   of which we will see few of them in this webinar.   What is now the difference between additive  manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing?   You can see an illustration in these two  videos. On the one side, you see a video   where we have additive manufacturing meaning  material addition. We start from scratch and we   add material where we need material.
On the other  side, you can see an example of milling which is   a more conventional manufacturing technology  where we do not add material but we take away   material. So that is the main difference between  both technology groups. And of course, additive   manufacturing has some advantages. You only add  material where you need material and so you can   save quite some material costs. Also you can  create much more geometrically complex objects.

Most probably you have heard about 3D printing technology or additive manufacturing technology before. But what is 3D printing exactly? And what is additive manufacturing? And how are they different from traditional manufacturing technologies?

Additive manufacturing (AM) is defined as “a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer”. Additive manufacturing is also called by different names such as 3D printing, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, freeform fabrication, additive fabrication, etc. In this course we will mainly use the term Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing, but keep in mind that they both mean the same.

In the video, professor Brecht Van Hooreweder illustrates the difference between additive manufacturing and the more traditional subtractive manufacturing technologies.

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Introduction to Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) Technology

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