From prototyping to manufacturing, 3DP/AM is building a new world.
Welcome to the inaugural Design World Additive Manufacturing Handbook. Additive manufacturing is a dynamic industry. I’ve watched it grow from an initial seven ways to build a part layer-by-layer, primarily for prototyping, to the many more options we have today that seek a place on the manufacturing floor.
According to the Wohlers Report 2018, the number of metal additive systems sold grew nearly 80%! In 2017, 135 companies produce and sell additive systems; this is up from 97 companies in 2016. And more ways to build parts a layer at a time are on the way.
Additive technology offers great promise for designers and manufacturers alike, but with more systems, more ways to build in layers, more materials, this industry is still a bit on the bleeding edge. One of the inhibitors to greater adoption is information as users struggle to learn enough to make the most of this technology.
3D printing/additive manufacturing seems simple—load a CAD file, hit print, and watch a part grow before your eyes. But there are nuances to learn. New ways of thinking to adopt.
This handbook will help sort through all the developments and changes. Among these pages you will find information that describes how many of the additive technologies work. You’ll also read stories on applications, both popular and unique. In addition, we’ve spoken to many of the additive industry’s leaders to look ahead at what vendors need to do to make additive more useful for manufacturing and what benefits of additive are being overlooked.
Given the dynamism of the additive industry, changes will continue to come. So stay tuned for the 2019 edition of the handbook.
Leslie Langnau | Managing Editor