This module provides an overview of fundamentals of additive manufacturing, implications to the industry and applications to the aerospace field. It presents an introductory overview of the most important aspects of additive manufacturing, along with a comparison of traditional manufacturing methods. A brief evolution of AM (Additive Manufacturing) technologies, with special focus on 3D Printing, also appears, with methods and materials used in today’s industry and aerospace applications.
After completion of the module, the reader will know the main advantages and difficulties of additive manufacturing, especially 3D Printing, in today’s industry and aerospace applications. The reader will also have an understanding of some important AM methods and commonly used materials, as well as the potential this technology holds for the future.
Additive technologies "stack layers" of material to reproduce a tri-dimensional object, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: AM process by Stacking Layers - Conversion of a solid model into layers, and showing the addition of a single layer .