This video begins the process of digging into the idea of additive manufacturing, importantly, by first defining it and contrasting it with more traditional manufacturing methods. The video also offers a brief overview of the history of the AM space, both in terms of market and revenue development. Finally, it describes a general AM process and presents some of the broad advantages and disadvantages of both AM and more traditional manufacturing approaches. After you watch the video, take the practice quiz to solidify your knowledge.
- Hi, welcome back, and welcome to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is home for me. I taught for nine years on the faculty at the college of business just across campus. Today, I'm here in this beautiful new engineering building because of the commitment that the college of engineering here has to understanding and applying advanced manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing, to the delivery of value for businesses. The purpose of this segment is to begin digging into the idea of additive manufacturing, importantly, by defining it.
When we look across the additive manufacturing space, or even when we consider the title to this course, we see a variety of terms that are mixed and matched. Most popularly, this technology is referred to as 3D printing. 'course, I'm using the term additive manufacturing. We've also seen it referred to as rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, and direct manufacturing. All of these terms refer to this set of technologies. So, why do I refer to it as additive manufacturing? Well, let's take a look at the diversity of products that we have in front of us.
We have some that are very pretty, we have some that are medically oriented, we have some that look very functional, we have some that are fashion-oriented. All of these items look very different to us, but they were all made with additive manufacturing. Now, when we think of the term 3D printing, to me, at least, that evokes this idea of maybe an inkjet printer with a printhead moving across a sheet of paper, laying down ink, in this case, material in general, to create the finished product.
In the case of inkjet printing, that's a piece of paper. And some additive manufacturing technologies do, in fact, look like that. We're going to explore those in, later on in this course. But they don't all look like that. And we wanted to find the technology that we're using in a way that refers to all of the technologies, not just a few. For that, we turn to the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM. They give us a very specific definition for additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing is a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing technologies.
Now, there's a couple things I'd like you to note about that definition. Number one, it's defined in opposition to other, more traditional methods, in this case, subtractive approaches to manufacturing. What's a subtractive approach to manufacturing? Think machining or milling, where we're taking a solid block of material, and we're removing or subtracting some material in order to get to our finished object. Another way we could define additive manufacturing in an opposition is to say forming technologies, like casting or molding.
Our job here is to understand how additive manufacturing technology fits into the general constellation of technologies that we're going to use in order to create value, in order to produce objects. That's the purpose of this course. Now, before we get to that, we want to think a little bit about the history of this technology set. In fact, the technology is almost 30 years old. In 1986, a man by the name of Charles Hull invented a process called stereolithography. We're going to explore that technology in some depth in a later segment.
Charles Hull later went on to found a company called 3D Systems, which is one of the largest technology providers in the additive manufacturing space. Now, if we look at this timeline here, we'll see what I call my logarithmic chart because it really accelerates. The first small bit takes us 20 years, from 1986 to 2007, and then things really begin to change. That first 20 years is what we might call the evolutionary period of the technology, where we're slowly making inroads, slowly developing the technology, primarily within the rapid prototyping space.
But in 2009, something important begins to happen in the market. The technology patents for the underlying technology set begin to fall off. In this case, for a material extrusion process called fused deposition modeling, which is a proprietary technology by Stratasys, one of the other major competitors in this space. When that happens, when that FDM patent falls off, the technology becomes available to.
- What is additive manufacturing?
- Working with light-activated polymers
- Resin printing
- Modeling and extruding materials
- Fusing, melting, and sintering
- Binder jetting
- Laminating sheets
- Developing a product
- Shaping the direction of tooling
- Evolving a supply chain
- Evolving a product
- Evolving a business model