Additive Manufacturing-The Present Need

The emergence of on-demand manufacturing is leading more and more manufacturers to give some serious thought to additive manufacturing. However, when it comes to mass production, subtractive manufacturing is always preferred.3D printing is always recommended for prototyping in plastic but not for metals. Most metal parts are voluminous and therefore, take more time to print through 3D printing rather than subtractive manufacturing. Moreover, subtractive manufacturing is cheaper than additive manufacturing in 90 per cent of the cases.

Nowadays Production Process falls generally in three brackets (i) Additive Manufacturing (ii) Subtractive Manufacturing (ii) Injection Molding. Additive Manufacturing is the process by which 3D objects are constructed by successively depositing material in layers such that it becomes a predesigned shape. Subtractive manufacturing is a process by which 3D objects are constructed by successively cutting material away from a solid block of material. Subtractive manufacturing can be done by manually cutting the material but is most typically done with a CNC Machine. Injection molding can be an effective technology for pre-production prototypes but generally it’s used for final manufacturing. Typically, one wouldn’t go through the expense of building a pre-production injection molding tool unless one was planning to mass- manufacture a product.

In the additive manufacturing process, it is constrained by the range of materials available for metal 3D printing. The size of the components also acts as a constraint for 3D printing. Subtractive manufacturing on the other hand is seen as creating a lot of waste in every process. But what sets subtractive manufacturing apart is that most processes are comparatively faster and cheaper for the same level of precision through subtractive manufacturing. Thus, it creates a competitive edge. Additive manufacturing, however, is creative and innovative process for removing barriers to innovative design, improving precision, reducing wastage and creating parts layer by layer. Both additive and subtractive manufacturing have their pros and cons. While subtractive manufacturing has a cost and time advantage and is suitable for mass manufacture, additive manufacturing enables innovative design and is preferred by design engineers who have a more creative outlook towards manufacturing irrespective of cost.

Pros and Cons of Additive Manufacturing:-

1 Complexity is free

2 Variety is free

3 No assembly required

4 Little lead time

5 Little-skill manufacturing

6 Few constraints

7 Less waste


1 Slow build rates

2 High production costs

3 Requires post-processing

4 Discontinuous production process

5 Limited component size/small build volume

6 Poor mechanical properties

Techniques used for Additive Manufacturing:-

1 Rapid Prototyping

2 Stereo lithography

3 The STL File

4 3d Printing

5 Fused Deposition Modeling

6 Prometal

7 Selective Laser Sintering

8 Electron Beam Melting

9 Laser Engineered Net Shaping

10 Laminated Object Manufacturing

11 Poly je