Intro to Additive Manufacturing

Today I’m going to be talking about additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing! I will be answering three questions, what is 3D printing, why 3D printing is important, and what the costs and benefits are of doing 3D printing. There have been many breakthroughs in the 3D Printing industry that now allow us to 3D print houses, metal and more. To learn more about how 3D Printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, especially for small businesses, read more!


What is 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing? Additive manufacturing (AM), also called 3D printing, is a manufacturing process that builds objects by adding layer-by-layer. AM stands in contrast to traditional “Injection Molding” and "Subtractive Manufacturing" processes that remove material from larger blocks. There have been new ways of going about 3D Printing, such as resin printing, where each layer is made instantly, and 3D Printing where filament is extruded and fills in every layer.


Why is 3D printing important? AM provides a potential solution that can also be harnessed more easily by new startups without the capital to build large manufacturing plants. AM can also reduce the time required to design and produce manufactured goods, save on material costs, create more complex objects, tailor goods to individual consumers, and create stronger, lighter and more flexible objects. 3D printing has shown us a glimpse into the future of manufacturing as we know it. But there is debate on which industries and use cases 3D Printing will be used for.


What are the costs and benefits of 3D printing? Some benefits are by printing 3D objects, we no longer need to weld things together. A variety of different shapes and structures can be made with 3D printing that cannot be made any other way. You can reproduce different parts of certain objects easily without having to buy an entire new product. Here are the costs. Not all materials can be used in 3D printers. Some metal additive manufacturers leave behind a kind of poisonous dust after working with the metal. The item has to pass through many regulations for it to go to shops and the public.


In this article I talked about what 3D printing is, why 3D printing is important, and what the costs and benefits are of doing 3D printing! While the additive manufacturing idea isn’t a booming industry yet, once people realize the positive implications 3D printing will have on their business...what’s stopping it from becoming one? What are your thoughts on 3D Printing? And which industries do you think will 3D printing impact the most?