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Additive Manufacturing Primer with Bonus Videos

Posted on November 8th, 2017 by in New Materials & Applications


Image [crop from original] by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing [Content on Youtube] via YouTube

Quick, name four different methods of additive manufacturing including each of their respective unique characteristics…

With so many variations in the technology making up additive manufacturing, it can be difficult keeping up with the commercially available techniques, let alone understand the differences and advantages one has over the others. An article recently published by Digital Trends provides an excellent and simple summary of a variety of approaches each leveraging a concise and descriptive video from a series produced by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. The videos are rich in technical and instructive detail and are presented in a consultative fashion rather than a hard-sell on the company’s capabilities. Being in the additive and custom manufacturing business, Stratasys has years of experience and demonstrates credibility in the subject matter.

Presented as a Tech Series, the videos each describe an individual additive manufacturing technique and feature illustrative computer animations clarifying process nuances – all in under 3 minutes each. Subject matter experts not only take you through the manufacturing process itself, but also the pre and post processing steps used to create usable production parts. The engineering and manufacturing benefits of each technique is also presented along with insights on 3D printing’s future direction.

In the video describing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) shown below, Andrew Graves, Additive Manufacturing Engineer at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing states, “But we’ve got kids coming along who’ve got no idea about the rules of manufacturing. All they know is I get to play with these 3D printers – and that’s really exciting because they’re going to be designing things just because I can make it like this rather than this is the way I’m supposed to make it.”

His observation is interesting because it’s in line with the “clean sheet” innovation process of thinking functionally rather than systemically. Concentrating on the “function” you would like to achieve rather than the existing techniques to produce the effect opens your mind to consider alternative approaches.

Additional videos are available explaining Stereolithography, Laser Sintering, Polyjet 3D Printing, and Urethane Casting. To see the full Tech Series, head over to the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing YouTube page here.

Did you learn something new about additive manufacturing today? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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