PR-DA0322-1 - 2022 Digitalization Applications 101, March

Additive Manufacturing

D. Pesta

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If you imagine a block of granite that a sculptor uses to carve a statue, or planks of wood that are cut and planed from the trunk of a tree, or washing machine lids that are stamped out of a coil of steel, then you have a good idea how traditional manufacturing works. Raw material is reduced or subtracted to form the finished product, and what is left is waste or scrap. Additive manufacturing (AM) works in reverse. Rather than removing material, material is added until the product is completed. The process requires computer technology in the form of computer-aided design (CAD) and manifests itself in several different technologies. The field is rapidly changing and improving, allowing the technology to undertake more roles in production. From chocolate confections to bridges and office buildings, AM is quickly becoming a trusted and economical process in many areas of manufacturing.

Keywords: digitalization, industry 4.0