Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a technology that describes the way 3D objects can be built. The term “3D Printing” is commonly the technology that comes to mind, but 3D Printing is actually categorized under one of the 7 main AM processes. The AM equipment reads data from sketches made in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, then uses that information to lay down material in successive layers to create a piece. The 7 main AM processes are Binder Jetting, Directed Energy Deposition, Material Extrusion, Material Jetting, Powder Bed Fusion, Sheet Lamination, and Vat Photopolymerization.
Currently, AM is being used to model a variety of things, like medical implants, automobiles, and fashion products . Some of the benefits include assemblies can be printed in one process, support material and powder can often be recycled back into the system, and the emissions from transport are reduced due to the ability to manufacture products near consumers or even at home.