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Sheet Lamination

Sheet lamination is an additive manufacturing (AM) methodology where thin sheets of material (usually supplied via a system of feed rollers) are bonded together layer-by-layer to form a single piece that is cut into a 3D object. Laminated object manufacturing (LOM) and ultrasonic consolidation (UC) are both examples of sheet lamination techniques. 

Sheet lamination can use a variety of materials such as paper, polymer, and metal - but each requires a different method to bind the sheets of material together. Paper sheets are usually bound using heat and pressure to activate a layer of activated adhesive that is pre-applied to the sheets. For certain polymers, the same application of heat and pressure is used to melt the sheets together. Metal sheets are bound together with ultrasonic vibrations under pressure (aka: ultrasonic welding), as opposed to melting or sintering. 

Sheet lamination is one of the less accurate AM methods, manufacturers use it as a fast and low cost way to 3D print-non-functional prototypes, casting molds, and other simple designs out of easily handled materials. Because it allows build-materials to be swapped out in the middle of printing, sheet lamination is also used to make composite materials.

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