What is Additive Manufacturing? (by MakerBot)

Have you heard the term additive manufacturing but weren’t quite sure what all the buzz is about? Is it 3D printing? Is it a specific technology or material? In this article, we’ll crack the code and try to answer the question - What is additive manufacturing?


Source: MakerBot

Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, is the process of manufacturing a three-dimensional solid object from a digital CAD file by successively laying down thin layers of material one above the other. This is called additive as it adds material during the process, contrary to the popular subtractive manufacturing technologies (milling, cutting, grinding etc.) which remove material from a solid block.

Additive manufacturing has come a long way over the past 30+ years. Today, there is a wide range of technologies that fall under the umbrella of the term additive manufacturing. In our evolving society, each of these technologies have a place. As AM technologies become more affordable, versatile, and efficient, industries will continue to bring these useful tools to their teams whether in the design lab or on the manufacturing floor, or perhaps someday even on the surface of another planet.


Image source: MakerBot

Read more in detail about the invention, growing industry, wide variety of additive manufacturing technologies, the ecosystem, materials used in additive manufacturing, additive manufacturing in industries and the advantages of additive manufacturing on the MakerBot blog.