Getting started with additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is an appealing alternative for the classical manufacturing processes of a growing number of companies. However, this new technology requires a good understanding of its possibilities, benefits and applications. This list of topics introduces to you the basic ins and outs of AM at a glance.

1. Drivers and typical applications

Companies that are considering the adoption of AM usually have one or a combination of distinct benefits in mind: a faster manufacturing flow, customization in small series, more versatility in product features, considerable weight reduction and the possibility of local production. 

Compared to traditional manufacturing, there are a number of reasons or drivers in favour of choosing 3D printing as your production technology.. However, this doesn’t mean every single product is suitable for 3D printing. The key is to find applications where one or more of these benefits can be achieved.

Read more about AM applications, differentiators and drivers.

2. Design for AM

Ceramic Additive ManufacturingDesigning for AM doesn’t come with a lot of restrictions. For example, requirements in terms of symmetry or restrictions in complexity are not an issue. However, it is vital to adapt the item’s design to the new technology. After all, taking advantage of the unique capabilities of 3D printing requires adjustments in terms of product features, weight, materials and so on. To do so, there is a panoply of design methods and tools specifically developed for AM.

Read more about design for additive manufacturing.

3. Getting the hang of AM lingo

Common Additive Manufacturing abbreviations @ SirrisWhile most manufacturers are familiar with the basics of AM, the domain is comprised of several techniques, each with their own abbreviations. Some examples: BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing), EBM (Electron Beam Melting) or SHS (Selective Heat Sintering).

Get to know the most common AM abbreviations.

4. Typical AM technologies

Additive manufacturing is actually an umbrella term for different technologies. Depending on the type of material and the required features, there are several tools and machines – at both the high and low ends of the cost spectrum. To tackle these varieties, Sirris’s infrastructure involves an extensive range of machinery at two Belgian sites for testing and developing products.

Learn more about the different AM technologies.


Discover the opportunities

Interested in the possibilities of AM for your products, but looking for more expertise or information?

Our Design for AM masterclasses help you unveil the huge potential of 3D printing.

Take a look at our upcoming masterclasses or contact one of our experts.