Man is holding object printed on metal 3d printer. Object printed in laser sintering machine. Modern 3D printer printing from metal powder. Progressive additive DMLS, SLM, SLS 3d printing technology

3D Printing Services (Additive Manufacturing)

Additive Manufacturing (also known as AM, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping) is a process of making a three-dimensional object of virtually any shape from a digital model. Additive Manufacturing is a process, where successive layers of material are laid down to grow 3D objects, the opposite to subtractive manufacturing processes such as CNC (Computer Navigated Cutting). We can provide all the latest technologies and materials.


There are a number of additive processes now available, differing in the materials that can be used and the way layers of material are deposited.

Producing Layers

Some prototyping processes create 3D physical prototypes by solidifying layers of deposited powder using a liquid binder, e.g. standard 3D Printing; other processes melt, or soften material, e.g. SLM (selective laser melting) or DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), SLS (selective laser sintering) and FDM (fused deposition modelling); and yet other processes cure liquid materials using sophisticated technologies e.g. SLA (stereolithography) and DLS (digital light synthesis™) which prints up to 100 times faster than traditional 3D printing methods. It uses a software-controlled chemical reaction process to grow parts. The resultant parts are similar to injection moulding – virtually layer free with consistent isotropic and predictable mechanical properties.

Advantages And Drawbacks

Each process has its own advantages and drawbacks, however additive manufacturing offers significant advantages over more traditional engineering subtractive processes, with significantly shorter lead-times and lower material costs, proven to yield long-term strategic value by enhancing design-to-manufacturing capabilities and reducing time to market.


Is 3D Printing the same as Additive Manufacturing?

3D printing is a term the media like to use as a synonym for all Additive Manufacturing processes. Typically, the term 3D Printing is more often used in the consumer space when printing one-of-a-kind objects, whereas Additive Manufacturing (AM) is more typically used in the industrial/manufacturing space when producing functional prototypes, moulds, mould inserts and end-use products. The production process used by both are essentially the same. The 3D Consultancy provide industry leading expertise in the field of Additive Manufacturing.

What is 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing?

The process of Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing involves the production of a three-dimensional (also referred to as 3D) object from a CAD (Computer Aided Design) model. This is normally achieved by successively adding material layer by layer, hence the reason for calling it additive manufacturing. Processes such as conventional machining, forging and casting processes do the opposite, they remove or subtract material from a block or item (subtractive manufacturing) or pour material into a mould which can be shaped using tools such as dies, hammers and presses. The 3D Consultancy enables clients to benefit from the latest design and manufacturing expertise in Additive Manufacturing.

How does 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing work?

3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing is a process where a solid 3D object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. The first step in this process is to create a digital file of the design using either a 3D scanner to make a digital copy of the object or by using 3D Modelling software to create the digital file. The 3D Consultancy help clients embrace new technologies, processes and materials in Additive Manufacturing.

What are the types of Additive Manufacturing?

The American Society for Testing and Materials formulated a set of standards that classify the range of Additive Manufacturing processes depending on the material and machine technology used. They described seven categories:
(1) VAT Photopolymerisation; (2) Material Jetting; (3) Binder Jetting; (4) Material Extrusion; (5) Fuse deposition modelling (FDM); (6) Powder Bed Fusion; (7) Sheet Lamination; and (8) Directed Energy Deposition. For further details of these categories visit our Insights page. The 3D Consultancy help clients embrace new technologies, processes and materials in Additive Manufacturing.

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