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Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing refers to adding layer-upon-layer of material using data-driven automation to form a product. This is the opposite of machining, which relies on removing material to form a product.

Additive manufacturing is sometimes called 3D printing, but is often associated more specifically with large-scale industrial production. Industrial additive manufacturing requires an integrated and digital workflow starting with design and simulation, and ending with the final part production.

Additive manufacturing will have a revolutionary impact on manufacturing by enabling the production of increasingly complex designs, reducing materials waste and rapidly accelerating throughput.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing refers to adding layer-upon-layer of material to form a product.

Benefits of Additive Manufacturing (AM):

The benefits of additive manufacturing give it some advantages over other manufacturing methods in specific use cases. 

  • Additive manufacturing allows designers to have improved design freedom. While additive manufacturing still has certain design restrictions depending on the type of AM technology and material used (minimum wall thickness, maximum overhang) in general, designers have much more freedom to create unique and innovative designs. 
  • Additive manufacturing can allow companies to make parts on-demand. This means that the overhead associated with maintaining a warehouse of spare parts can be reduced or in some cases eliminated. 
  • Additive manufacturing allows companies to take full advantage of unique geometries like topology optimization and lattice structures. While unique geometry like that created by topology optimization was possible to produce with other manufacturing methods, many of these unique geometries reach their full potential when used with additive manufacturing as the production method. 
  • Additive manufacturing can reduce the lead time required to deliver parts to market. This is especially true when additive manufacturing is used to convert an assembly of parts into a single unit. Often, delivery of the manufactured part is faster than procuring and assembling the multi-part assembly.

Listen to our additive manufacturing podcast series

Listen to our additive manufacturing podcast series

Is your company ready for industrial-scale additive manufacturing?

In our new podcast series, we explore the hype, reality, risks and opportunities of industrial additive manufacturing and the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network's role in jumpstarting ISAM.