Additive manufacturing is an advanced manufacturing technology for the production of mechanical components. It enables new part designs, new products, and new business activities.
Additive manufacturing is also known as 3D printing, or simply AM.
Design freedom and material selection
Additive manufacturing offers more design freedom than conventional manufacturing methods. Many materials that have previously been difficult to process are now manageable. This enables innovative designs.
Have a look at a few examples of projects and design we at Gramm have worked on:
How additive manufacturing works
In additive manufacturing (AM) materials are joined to make parts from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing and formative manufacturing methodologies.
The technology can be applied in product development for prototyping and during manufacturing for both tooling and the production of end use components. The absence of physical tooling, the digital input interface and the greatly increased design freedom for part shapes are the main advantages of additive manufacturing. They enable agility in both product development and manufacturing.
An additive manufacturing process accepts a digital technical drawing as input and outputs a net shaped part through the use of layerwise additive shaping. A typical type of digital technical drawing is a 3D CAD model. Common output parts are polymer and fully dense metal parts.
A system used to carry out such a process commonly consists of a software package for digital pre-processing, a 3D printer for processing and a workbench for post-processing. The 3D printing technology used by a particular additive manufacturing system defines the overall size, feature size, durability, surface quality, visual appearance, cost and material properties of the parts it produces.
Where additive manufacturing is used for a suitable application in the production process and is implemented correctly, it saves both time and money and increases the quality of the final product.