Additive Manufacturing Processes & 3D Printing - What is the Difference?

3D Printing is a technique of Additive Manufacturing.


Additive Manufacturing Processes & 3D Printing: What is the Difference?

3D Printing is a technique of Additive Manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing drove the industrial revolution that gave birth to our modern society, but it has fundamental flaws that necessitate fresh approaches. (Campbell et. al)
Manufacturing is derived from the French term "manufactured by hand." However, this etymological root no longer applies to the current condition of contemporary industrial technology. Tooling, machines, computers, and robots are all used in the complicated operations of casting, forming, moulding, and machining. These technologies are "subtractive" techniques, in which things are formed by 

subtracting material from a workpiece, similar to a kid cutting a folded piece of paper to make a snowflake. The capabilities of the tools employed in the production processes restrict the capabilities of the final goods. Additive Manufacturing Processes, on the other hand, is a collection of new technologies that build items from the ground up by layering material one cross-sectional layer at a time. Going back to the childhood comparison, this is essentially comparable to building an object using Legos® or building blocks. Figure 1 (below) depicts the generalised phases of Additive Manufacturing technology.


Additive Manufacturing Process

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additive manufacturing process


additIve manufacturing Processes.

Gawal, 2020, categorises additive manufacturing processes into three main methods: processes that use Solid Material, Liquid and Powder. As shown below in Figure 2. 

The three methods expand into the 7 various technical applications of these three methods as outlined below by the Additive Manufacturing Research Group (AMRG) at Loughborough University: 

Additive Manufacturing Processes

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  2. 2021. The 7 categories of Additive Manufacturing | Additive Manufacturing Research Group | Loughborough University. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 August 2021].
  3. Shahrubudin, N., Lee, T. and Ramlan, R., 2019. An Overview on 3D Printing Technology: Technological, Materials, and Applications. [ebook] Johor, Malaysia: Elsevier B.V, pp.1-11. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 July 2021].

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