This page does not seek to educate you on everything there is to know about Additive printing. Our goal here is to help you understand at a high level the entire process that you will have to go through to end up with the improvements in your business operations and profits that was the goal of the entire effort in the first place. We suggest that you also read our page What Nobody Else May Tell You. Then you will be in a better position to separate truth from fiction as you talk to people in the industry that have something they would like to sell you that "you really need" or neglect to mention problems and issues that you need to know about, but are not something they really want to bring up in the sales process or talk about. We have all been in that room.
If you are going to be successful in implementing Additive printing in your business, you have to start at the end and work backwards. What exactly is it you will be trying to make and who will either be using it or purchasing it? Chances are that you will be making many things for many reasons. This first step will be a key part of your Additive printing evaluation process and how you can best assure yourself a good return on your investment. This is business 101, but it sometimes gets lost when new technology is being discussed.
For clarity, this industry uses three terms that really mean the same thing; 3D printing, Additive printing, and Additive Manufacturing are three terms that describe the same thing. 3D printing was used to describe this industry and its related processes when the people mostly involved in it were hobbyists. When the technology and processes started being developed for and marketed more to businesses rather than hobbyists, the terms Additive printing and Additive Manufacturing were created to get away from the hobbyist association that that the term 3D Printing has historically had.
Here is a step-by-step high-level overview of the entire 3D printing process:
For some ideas on how Additive printing can improve your bottom line and allow you to better serve your customers, see out page Specific Benefits By Industry.
We do not know everything. No single firm or individual does. We build and work with teams of professionals that are experts at what they do however and that formula delivers exceptional results.