What is the difference between 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and additive manufacturing?

Although the technology is about 30 years old, 3D printing has been well-documented and defined over the last few years. We are often asked by industry novices if there is a difference between 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.


There is no difference between the terms 3D printing and additive manufacturing. 3D printing and additive manufacturing are synonyms for the same process. Both terms refer to building a part by joining materials layer by layer from a CAD file. This contrasts traditional manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining, where parts are made by subtracting material from a piece. 3D printing and additive manufacturing can be used whether the part is made from plastic, metal, or rubber.


Based on our general opinion, people who work in industry or manufacturing seem to prefer additive manufacturing because it sounds more formal. In contrast, the media and hobbyists prefer the term 3D printing. The term 3D printing has been used increasingly since inexpensive desktop printers became more popular.


The term rapid prototyping is different from 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Rapid Prototyping is a technique for creating prototype models from CAD files. In other words, 3D printing/additive manufacturing is the process, and rapid prototyping is the result. Rapid prototyping is one of the many applications under the umbrella of 3D printing/additive manufacturing.


Looking for a reliable, quality, and efficient rapid prototyping manufacturer? Contact the professional GoodTech MFG Group.

Publicado en Technology en enero 02 at 09:38
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