Additive manufacturing is one of the prominent technologies shaping The Future of Making.
Additive Manufacturing has become another technological advancement falling under advanced manufacturing solutions. The usage of additive manufacturing teamed with computer-aided design software and 3D printing has added digital flexibility and efficiency to manufacturing processes. Now that computer technology is developed to a higher level, additive manufacturing has become a revolutionary process, where there is no need for intermediate steps in the process as CAD software aids the journey saving cost and time.
3D printing is a rapidly developing technology that has evolved over decades. Where the first 3D printers cost as much as a house or a car. Thankfully in the last decade, 3D printers and 3D printing technology has evolved and now printers are more affordable. Users can take full advantage of an ever-expanding manufacturing solution. Creating products using 3D printing means faster production times, low start-up costs, high standard customisation of complex geometry and quick turn-around using specialised materials.
Hybrid manufacturing is a combination of subtractive and additive manufacturing solutions. Additive manufacturing is used to build products or structures and subtractive manufacturing is used as fabrication, polish and finishing.
Hybrid manufacturing offers more benefits to subtractive or additive alone. Additive manufacturing can be used to refurbish damaged or rework products adding material in specific areas. Subtractive manufacturing introduces CNC milling. It is possible to 3D print a part and finish it in one single set up. Reducing error as the part never leaves the machine.