Metal Additive Manufacturing: an introduction

Metal Additive Manufacturing, also known as metal 3D printing, offers the possibility to produce complex parts without many of the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes

Additive Manufacturing is defined as “the process of joining materials to make parts from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing and formative manufacturing methodologies” (ISO/ASTM 52900:2021).

The Additive Manufacturing process is ‘additive’ in nature, with layers being successively added to build a part, as opposed to ‘subtractive’ technologies, where material is removed or shaped by machining, milling or forming. Importantly, in Additive Manufacturing, the part geometry is always digitally defined and based on digital 3D model data from a computer-aided design (CAD) program.

Additive Manufacturing technology offers many advantages over more traditional manufacturing technologies. The ability to selectively deposit materials only where they are needed means that parts can be much more complex in design, and lighter weight, which can dramatically improve performance. The process is toolless, and so ideally suited for one-off or personalised products, unlike processes such as casting and injection molding that require significant up-front investment in tooling, with little ability to iterate product designs or provide any product differentiation.

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A guide to metal Additive Manufacturing

The following guide to metal 3D Printing will introduce you to the history of metal AM, list the main types of metal Additive Manufacturing process, discuss some of the main applications for metal 3D printing technology, and outline the current state of the metal 3D printing industry.

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About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • BMW Group: Laying the foundations for the application of metal Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry
  • Predicting the metal Additive Manufacturing market – and breaking the hype cycle
  • China’s thriving metal Additive Manufacturing industry: An outsider’s perspective
  • Enhancing the productivity of Additive Manufacturing facilities through PBF-LB automation
  • Award-winning metal AM parts from the MPIF’s 2024 Design Excellence Awards
  • Performance of eddy currents for the in-situ detection of defects during PBF-LB metal AM

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Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
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  • HIP systems & services
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  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
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Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

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