Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

About Additive Manufactuting

What is additive manufacturing? In this article, Mr. Amit Kothari discusses additive manufacturing.
Learning Additive Manufacturing
© Labdox Private Limited

What is Additive Manufacturing?

Objects are digitally defined by computer-aided-design (CAD) software that’s used to create. Additive production (AM) or additive layer manufacturing (ALM) is the industrial production name for 3D printing, a computer-controlled process that creates three-dimensional objects by depositing substances, usually in layers.

Additive manufacturing uses data computer-aided-design (CAD) applications or 3D object scanners to direct hardware to deposit material, layer upon layer, in exact geometric shapes. As its name suggests, additive manufacturing adds material to create an object. By comparison, when you create an item by conventional means, it is often required to remove material through milling, machining, carving, shaping, or other means.

Additive manufacturing is the official industry standard term for all applications of the technology. It’s defined as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Synonyms are additive manufacture, additive processes, additive techniques, additive coating manufacturing, layer manufacturing, and freeform fabrication.

The principal applications of additive fabrication are design/modeling, fit and function prototyping, and direct part manufacturing. When used properly, it can save considerable sums of time and money. Companies maintain that AM has helped trim weeks, even months, of design, prototyping, and manufacturing time while preventing costly errors and improving product quality.

© Labdox Private Limited
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Digital Manufacturing and 3D Printing

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now