At the beginning of possibilities
This overview of additive manufacturing processes makes the geometric diversity and versatile material selection obvious. Due to such advantages, additive manufacturing has already been able to firmly establish itself in many fields of application such as mechanical engineering, die & mold, medical technology or aerospace. Measured in terms of potential, however, the technology as a whole is still at the beginning of its possibilities. Overall, it is said to have the power to change industrial production profoundly and sustainably – always driven by the vision of being able to manufacture individualized, customer-specific products quickly and cost-effectively. Directly at the heart of the maturation process are materials, component size, accuracy, reliability and reproducibility. Indirect challenges also exist in automated post-processing, standardization of additive manufacturing and testing processes, and in terms of training both operators and engineers.
Meanwhile, the story of additive manufacturing is continuing not only in industry. In addition to the production of individual implants and prostheses, the potential applications in medicine, for example, range from training and diagnostics to the preparation of surgical procedures. High hopes are also pinned on the vision of "bioprinting". However, the "printing" of the body's own cells is still in the status of basic research.
Additive manufacturing in architecture and construction is much closer to practice (and easier to imagine). The production of design models for construction planning is already commonplace. Even printing the shells of houses is no longer a utopia. The general motivation is growing, especially in these fields of application, from the productivity, automatability and environmental compatibility of additive processes.
And the private sector has already discovered the benefits of additive manufacturing for itself. The multitude of materialized self-images are just as much evidence of this as the printer offers at discount stores or the numerous 3D communities for the exchange of tricks and data among tinkerers. One of the important side effects of the positive basic mood toward additive manufacturing processes is that it promotes interest in technology and innovation in society. On the other hand, 3D printing shows in countless small examples in the private sphere how, on the whole, the environment can be enormously relieved with low energy and material consumption and less waste in individualized production.
Would you like to learn more about exceptional additive manufacturing offerings at DMG MORI? For this, our blog post "The future of additive manufacturing processes" offers you special insights into the powder bed machines of the LASERTEC SLM series and the unique advantages of the LASERTEC DED and LASERTEC DED hybrid machines.