The purpose of this module is to provide the reader with an overview of the fundamentals of Additive Manufacturing, implications on industry and also the applications on the Aerospace field. During the content of this module, an introductory overview of what the most important aspects of Additive Manufacturing are presented as well as a comparison with traditional manufacturing methods. A brief evolution of AM (Additive Manufacturing) technologies, with special focus on 3D Printing, is also described with the methods and materials used in today’s industry and Aerospace applications.
After completion of the module, the reader should be aware of the main advantage and difficulties of Additive Manufacturing, especially 3D Printing, in today’s industry and aerospace applications. The reader should also have an understanding of some of the most important AM methods and materials that are commonly used. Also the reader will have a grasp on the great potentials that this technology holds for the future.
The main concept behind Additive Technologies is to "Stack Layers" of material to reproduce a tridimensional object as showed in Figure 1.
Figure 1: AM process by Stacking Layers - Conversion of a solid model of an object (a) into layers (b), only one layer is shown .