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Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a process used to create a physical (or 3D) object by layering physical materials one by one based on a digital model. Unlike subtractive manufacturing that creates its final product by cutting away from a block of material, additive manufacture adds parts to form its final product.
Additive manufacturing is used with 3D modeling software and machine equipment that is able to read and layer CAD files into a 3D object. Additive Manufacturing adds to current production technology, enabling users to create highly customized objects.
Current additive manufactured products include aircrafts (US site), dental designs, medical implants, and automobiles.
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Read up on trends and future materials used in additive manufacturing.
Lower-cost and safer processes are innovating the additive manufacturing space and offering different material properties through resolution, surface quality and design freedom.
Autodesk has established an Additive Manufacturing Alliance that brings together leading industrial companies and their insights on solving design, simulation, and manufacturing processes.