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Finding the right way to 3D print a part is a complex task. The right solution can save money and greatly increase the value or performance of the part.

Additive manufacturing is a class of manufacturing processes that all have three distinct qualities: they are digital, tool-free, and they use additive shaping. There are currently seven broad categories defined by ISO. Within these categories, there are many technologies, machines and processes. Each of them has distinct properties, making them more suitable for some parts, and less suitable for others. For example, while metal powder bed fusion works great for single material, medium sized parts at medium resolution, binder jetting methods can deliver better results for small parts at high resolution, while very large parts can be better served by direct energy deposition.

 

Furthermore, the result of an additive manufacturing process is usually a near-net shaped part. Other processes join in to net shape the part. For Metal 3D printing, commonly parts need to be machined to bring functional surfaces up to spec, and HIPing or other hardening methods may be required to improve the mechanical properties of the material. Additive manufacturing in the real world is a hybrid process.

Finally, the costing and pricing plays a critical role. The best part is useless if it is costed too high, and low costs have no value if the part is not up to spec. Knowing the costing and pricing models for the different technologies helps navigate the technological landscape to find the right manufacturing solution.

At Gramm, we excel at finding the best additive manufacturing solution for your part. We differentiate ourselves from service bureaus, because service bureaus always need to rely on the machines they have in house. We make finding the right technology our task,and then find a supplier who can make it. We have a large network of suppliers already and carefully curate its members.

For you, this means lower prices, faster delivery and better performance of your parts. Send us your part definition, and let us get to work!