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Additive Manufacturing Processes

2. Additive Manufacturing Processes

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael F. Zh, Christian Eschey, Imke Nora Kellner, Harald

Toni Adam Krol, Michael Ott, Johannes Schilp, Stefan Teufelhart, and
Sebastian Westhuser

Additive manufacturing processes are based on the fundamental

concept of building up parts layer on layer; that is, the part is built
up additively by generating individual layers. Fabrication of
geometries is performed from amorphous materials (e.g., uids or
powders) or materials with a neutral form (e.g., strips, wires, paper,
or lm) using chemical and/or physical processes directly from the
digitally generated data models via a CAD/CAM link.

2.1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing processes were rst presented to the public in 1987

in the United States; in 19891990, the rst machines were delivered to
Europe. At that time, this generally involved stereolithography (SLA)
machines. Additional process variants were developed over the next few
years, including selective laser sintering (SLS), electron- and laser-beam
melting, and laminated-object manufacturing (LOM). Based on known
processes ( Section 2.4 ), new or modied processes will be developed
further in the next few years because additive manufacturing has not
reached its full potential, for example, when it comes to processing of
multiple materials.
The process sequence also can be summarized as follows ( Section 2.3 ):
Parts are built up layer on layer through the consolidation of an amorphous
or neutrally shaped feedstock material to which energy is applied layer by
layer. All layer manufacturing processes must meet the following
requirements with regard to data processing (CAD/CAM link):

The starting point for the additive manufacturing of a part is a three-

dimensional (3D) computer-aided design (CAD) model that depicts all
the workpiece data in digital form.

For the construction process, the 3D solids have to be broken down into
individual layers, thus reducing them to two dimensions. These layer
data dene a process-specic computer numerical control (CNC)

The subsequent manufacturing process is performed on a numerically

controlled machine that executes the information layer by layer, thus
generating a part.

Comparison with conventional manufacturing processes shows the economic

and technical potential of additive manufacturing: While simple solids can be
produced cost-eectively in large quantities using familiar processes such as
turning, milling, or casting, for smaller quantities and more complex
components, the use of layer manufacturing becomes more economical.
Moreover, a few highly complex components, for example, those with internal
geometric features, can only be produced using additive manufacturing

Workpieces generated by means of additive manufacturing can be used for a

very wide range of functions in various elds of application:


Concept models are employed to visualize the dimensions and

general appearance of the new product being developed at the earliest
possible stage.

Design models are employed to depict the CAD model accurately as

regards shape and dimensions. The surface quality and the position of
individual elements are important.

Functional prototypes, which are largely the same as the series-

production sample, are used to verify one or more of the planned
functions of the later-series part.

Technical samples, which only dier from the later-series parts in the
manufacturing processes that are employed, are used to verify that the
requirements are met.


Tools and molds can be used to create end products in a subsequent

manufacturing process (e.g., injection molding).

Fully functional customer-specic single parts and series parts with

close to the nal contours can be employed.

As this overview of the areas of application shows, additive manufacturing

processes can be used in all phases of product development.

2.2. Denition

Additive manufacturing processes are dened as all processes that are

used to create 3D models, prototypes, and components additively, that is,
through the joining or layering of multiple solid elements. Many other terms
can be encountered in practice and in the literature; these have been
brought together and standardized in VDI Standard 3404, which was
introduced in 2010.

For historical reasons, it is a common practice for additive manufacturing

processes to have the word rapid added to them in order to convey that
additive processes are faster (for small and medium quantities) than the
conventional alternatives. Conventional processes generally require tool
making. By avoiding this, additive processes are not only faster but also in
most cases provide large potential cost savings. In short, this is why additive
manufacturing processes are also called rapid technologies.

As described earlier, additive processes can be used economically anywhere

in the product-creation process (Figure 2.1 ). Rapid technologies can be
subdivided into rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, and rapid manufacturing.
Figure 2.1. Rapid technologies in the product emergence process.

Rapid prototyping is an application of rapid technologies for cost-eective,

quick production of test parts and prototypes. These components generally
have limited or special functions. Their design can be but does not have to be
optimized for series production. With rapid prototyping, it is also not
necessary to use the generally more expensive material that is used for
series production. The term rapid prototyping thus covers only a small
subset of additive applications and therefore should not be used as a
synonym for the term additive processes .

In rapid tooling, additive processes are used to create tools and molds (e.g.,
casting molds, injection molds, and deep-drawing dies) for the production of
prototypes, preseries parts, and series parts. For the most part, selective
laser melting is employed here, allowing not only rapid manufacture but also
ecient use of the shaping options provided by rapid technologies. In order
to achieve the necessary precision and/or the required surface
characteristics, conventional processes such as high-speed cutting (HSC)
milling are often implemented to rework the tools and dies created by means
of the additive process. This is called direct rapid tooling. Indirect rapid
tooling is the production of tools by molding master patterns created using
additive processes. Processes in which computer numerical control (CNC)
programming and subsequent HSC milling are used to create tools from solid
stock within a short time are also considered to be rapid technologies, along
with additive manufacturing processes. Because they involve chip removal,
however, they should not be confused with additive processes.

Rapid manufacturing is the additive manufacturing of end products for

single-part or series production. The parts are manufactured in the genuine
material based on the design data and have all the characteristics of the nal
product. Besides the ability to produce parts rapidly, building up parts using
additive processes allows the creation of certain product design
characteristics (e.g., cooling channels that are close to the surface or curved
boreholes) that are dicult or impossible to create using conventional
production methods.

This means that with rapid technologies it is possible to expand and master
the various options for the manufacture of new design elements and to move
on directly to the manufacture of end products for single-part or series
production. Besides shortening the time required for product development
and product emergence through the employment of rapid technologies in the
creation of prototypes and tools and for direct manufacture of the nal parts,
the use of additive manufacturing processes also facilitates the logical
interlinking of order data processing. Not only the manufacturing time can
be described as rapid compared with conventional processesthe direct
CAD/CAM link also simplies and speeds up production planning, for
example, for generating and converting the manufacturing data.

For metals, the rapid technologies with the greatest potential for the future
are beam melting (also known as laser forming ), selective laser melting
(SLM), LaserCusing, electron-beam melting (EBM) or direct metal laser
sintering (DMLS) ( Figure 2.2 ) , and direct metal deposition (DMD). These are
suitable both for prototype production and for repairing or modifying tools
and molds. DMD makes it possible to process spatial surfaces by fusing
powdered metal layer on layer in a laser beam. The amount of heat input into
the workpiece is minimal. The two process variants described earlier both
have the following characteristics:
Figure 2.2. Dodecahedron produced by means of beam melting with
a geometrically complex internal structure made of metal, without
mechanical nishing work.

Powdered metal as the feedstock material

Complete melting of the powdered metal by the laser

Mixing and application of various powdered metals to base materials of a

dierent type

Fully automatic production, with no manual work

Generation of parts directly from the 3D CAD data

Manufacturing close to the nal contours with minimal rework on the

functional surfaces

2.3. Process Chain

The generation of models and the process chain follow similar principles for
all process principles in additive manufacturing. This is illustrated in the
process sequence shown in Figure 2.3 . The process for generating additive
components can be subdivided into the following areas.
Figure 2.3. Sequence of data processing and the construction
process from the 3D solid to the completed part.

2.3.1. Preparations for the Construction Process

A complete, dimensionally accurate 3D CAD solid is the basis and

prerequisite for all additive manufacturing processes. The CAD program is
selected based on the available options for data export. Formats used with
rapid technologies include STL, Initial Graphics Exchange Specication
(IGES), and Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (STEP). The
format most often used is STL, which is based on approximation of the
geometry using triangles (triangulation). This format is also supported by all
the commonly used CAD programs. The triangulation process used here
involves approximation of the outer geometric surface by means of triangles.
These triangles are dened via the position of their three vertices and the
associated normal vector pointing away from the solid of the part. The
aggregate of the triangles and normal vectors embodies all the surface
information. Nevertheless, the geometry of the parts always should be
veried after triangulation. As a rule, all the software programs for data
preparation provide repair functions for use in the event of triangulation

The STL data set for the part is the input information for the slice process.
This breaks the part down into individual layers. The thickness of the layers
depends on the process being used and the required surface quality. This
means that with slicing, the geometric information for the construction
process is generated for each layer. Where curvatures, sculptured surfaces,
and blunt angles appear, the layer-by-layer construction means that a
"stepped" eect is created. This leads to lower surface quality. The greater
the layer thickness, the greater is the stepped eect. On the other hand,
increasing the layer thickness reduces the construction time and thus also
the cost of the part. It is necessary to nd a compromise for each individual
construction process.

The last step in the preparation for the construction process is to place the
part virtually in the machine space using the system software. At the same
time, the information for the individual layers is transferred to the control
data of the system. The systems integrator then denes system-specic
parameters, such as the travel speed or the temperature of the working

2.3.2. The Construction Process

As a general principle, all additive processes are performed in three process

steps: (1) The material is applied, (2) the layer is consolidated, and (3) the
platform is lowered to allow application of the next layer. On the other hand,
application of the material and the joining process vary depending on the
specic system and manufacturing technology. Moreover, the basic states of
the materials may vary and can include powdered, liquid, and solid materials.
The feedstock material is consolidated through the use of an energy source
or by applying a chemical activator. After the rst layer from the preparation
for the construction process has been consolidated, the platform is lowered
by the thickness of one layer, and a new layer of feedstock material is
applied. In order to create as even a base layer as possible, this is generally
performed using a broad application mechanism, such as a roller or a wiper.
This is followed by consolidation of the new layer in accordance with the data
specied in the preparation for the construction process. At the same time,
the layer is joined to the underlying layer. In additive processes, this method
leads to anisotropic properties in the material because the joining of the
feedstock material in the X/Y plane generally is stronger than in the Z

2.3.3. Postprocessing
Even when the stepped eect is not a problem, at present, many additive
processes can provide only relatively low surface qualities. In most cases, the
parts have to be reworked after the construction process. The reason for this
is the stepped eect inherent to the process and the limited dimensional
accuracy of additive manufacturing technologies. For example, xed points
should be provided during design work as reference points for subsequent
rework. This makes it possible to set up an auxiliary coordinate system as a
basis for nishing operations using a CNC machining center. The design
engineer should select these xed points so that that they can be produced
accurately using the additive process. Furthermore, the anisotropic
properties in the material can be reduced or eliminated by means of thermal
posttreatment processes.

2.4. Classication of Additive Manu-facturing Processes

The additive manufacturing processes in use today can be classied based

on two aspects: the feedstock material and the shaping method.

2.4.1. Classication Based on the Feedstock Material

As shown in Figure 2.4 , three types of feedstock materials are used today:
Figure 2.4. Classication of currently known additive manufacturing
processes according to the feedstock material.

Powdered granulates

Liquid synthetic resins

Solid feedstock materials

In processes where powdered or granulated feedstock material is used,

sintering or bonding processes are employed. Here, targeted laser beams are
used to melt and consolidate materials that are "applied" or fed onto each
other in thin layers. In 3D printing, the consolidation is performed via the
targeted introduction of binding agents, for example, water in plaster.

In the case of liquid materials, for the most part, targeted laser beams or
heat (ultraviolet [UV] beams) are used to consolidate (polymerize) synthetic
resins and join them to the underlying existing layers. However, this process
also includes the use of solid feedstock materials (plastics) to build up the
existing model layer on layer by means of melting followed by rapid cooling.
The semiliquid plastic is sprayed on top of itself layer by layer.
When solid feedstock materials with a neutral form are used, this generally
involves layers of lm or paper that are bonded on top of each other layer on
layer and then cut out to the exact contours using a laser or cutting blade.
Both conventional bonding processes and partial polymerization (bonding via
heating) are used here.

2.4.2. Classication Based on the Shaping Method

A distinction is made here between processes that can be used to create 3D

forms directly and processes that generate the nal shape layer by layer.
Figure 2.5 provides an overview of the various processes.

Figure 2.5. Classication of currently known additive manufacturing

processes according to the shaping method.

All the processes used today function in two dimensions, that is, with
individual layers. Models are built up layer on layer, thus creating a third
dimension. This also applies to processes that generally also would be able to
work in three dimensions directly (e.g., fused deposition manufacturing). The
reason for this is that the 3D software required for this is signicantly more
complex and therefore not available at this time.
2.5. Introduction to the Principal-Layer Manufacturing


In additive manufacturing processes that use beam melting, the feedstock

material is in the form of a powder. At the beginning of the process, a layer of
powder is applied to the platform using an application mechanism (e.g., a
doctor blade). At the points where the component is subsequently to be
created, this layer is fused and thus consolidated on the substrate using an
electron beam or laser beam depending on the process method. The part is
created layer on layer by lowering the platform repeatedly, each time
applying a new layer and melting the component volume (Figure 2.6 ).

Figure 2.6. Process sequence for direct and indirect beam melting

The eects that appear when the powdered feedstock material is fused
locally are characterized by complete transformation of the feedstock
material into the molten state, which is what dierentiates this process from
sintering processes. Instead of a two-stage sintering process ( "Laser
Sintering" next ), a single-stage beam melting process now has become the
established practice in industrial applications. Various terms are used to
describe this process. Whereas EOS GmbH uses the term direct metal laser
sintering (DMLS), other companies prefer the terms LaserCusing (Concept
Laser) or selective laser melting (SLM) (MTT Technologies). However, the
process sequence is the same for all manufacturers: The feedstock material is
always a single-component powdered metal that is completely fused during
the construction process. In this way, it is possible to create a nearly pore-
free component whose material properties are similar to those of a
component created from the same material using conventional processes
(e.g., casting). Unlike with the IMLS process ( "Laser Sintering" later in
the chapter ), no additional processing is necessary. At present, the
powdered feedstock materials that are available and usable include various
tool steels, stainless steels, aluminum and nickel alloys, pure titanium,
various titanium alloys, and gold. The range of materials is constantly being
expanded as a result of numerous research and development (R&D) projects.

The single-stage process can be used to produce usable components for

various applications, in particular when it comes to prototype construction
and small-scale series production. Especially in medical technology and in
the tool and die industry, these technologies are regarded as important, cost-
eective manufacturing alternatives for creating geometrically complex
components and functional elements, for example, cooling channels that are
close to the contours. These processes are also becoming more and more
important in other elds, for example, in the aerospace and automotive

It should be noted, however, that all the laser-based beam melting processes
just described have a disadvantage in that the traversing speed of the laser
beam is limited. There are two main reasons for this:

The mechanical mirror optics used to redirect the laser beam limit the
power of the beam because of the limited thermal load capacity of the
mirror system.

The mass moments of inertia in the mirror optics limit the traversing speed
of the laser beam because increased deection speeds have an adverse
eect on the accuracy of travel.

These disadvantages can be eliminated by using not a laser beam but rather
an electron beam in an electron-beam melting (EBM) process. In this way, it
is even possible to increase the process speed (Figure 2.7 ).

Figure 2.7. Structure of an EBM system.

In this type of processing, the beam is generated using a so-called electron-

beam cannon, which can be used to apply the beam current, that is, the
power of the electron beam, in a targeted manner. By means of
electromagnetic lenses, the electron beam is shaped to form a circular cross
section focused at the focal point and deected in the plane. The workspace
is in a vacuum chamberthis prevents scattering of the electron beam. The
powder reservoirs, the application mechanism, and the platform are located
there as well.

The higher deection speeds and power density of electron beams allow
higher process speeds. The high deection speed also oers a number of
options for improved process control, such as quasi-parallel illumination and
freely congurable beam shaping to control and optimize heat input to the
part. Thanks to these advantages, the EBM process is currently being
subjected to further investigation and development with the goal of
establishing it as an industrial application on a larger scale. ADVANTAGES OF BEAM MELTING

There is great freedom in the choice of geometric shapes.

Thin wall thicknesses can be implemented.

It is possible to create usable functional components.

It is feasible to make internal cooling channels that are close to the


It is possible to process materials that are dicult or impossible to process

using conventional methods owing to their thermal and mechanical

Multimaterial processing and the implementation of graded material

properties are possible. DISADVANTAGES OF BEAM MELTING

Supporting structures are necessary at overhanging areas.

A platform has to be used, which then has to be cut o during


Layer-on-layer construction of the part results in a stepped eect.

There are high production costs for each part with long process times.

Internal stresses occur in the part owing to high temperature gradients

during cooling of the fused powder.

Rough surfaces are produced in some cases, with the associated need for
rework on functional surfaces.

There is a limited work area and thus limited part sizes (at present 300
350 300 mm maximum).

A shielding-gas atmosphere or vacuum is necessary (for electron-beam


2.5.2. Laser Sintering PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Sintering is dened as a consolidation process for crystalline, granular, or

powdered materials through coalescence of the crystallites by means of
appropriate heating. This is done by heating the powder bed, in some cases
to several hundred degrees celsius. This process can be used for both metals
and plastics.

For metals, this involves a two-step process. Indirect metal laser sintering
(IMLS) is used to fuse a plastic binder contained in the powdered metal
surrounding the metal particles. This initially produces a so-called green
compact with low strength. In order to generate an adequate metal part from
this green compact, a subsequent heat-treatment process is required. Here,
the plastic binder is expelled and so-called sinter necks are formed between
the metal particles. At the same time, bronze is inltrated into the part, thus
creating a stable structure consisting of about 60 percent steel and 40
percent bronze.

Laser sintering (LS) is also known as selective laser sintering (SLS). This
process is based on the powder-bed principle and can be used to produce
prototypes and functional components from plastics in just a few hours
( Figure 2.8 ). The materials used most often in this case are polyamide and
polystyrene. In contrast to beam melting processes, in which the feedstock
material is fused solely by means of the beam, with LS the feedstock material
is rst heated to a temperature just under the melting point via a large-area
heat radiator. The feedstock material then is fused locally using a low-power
laser (up to ~30 W). The laser beam is deected by the scanner optics. After
the iterative production of the individual layers of the part, the support
structure is slowly cooled down to room temperature. The time required for
this cooling process is approximately the same as the time required to build
up the part. If the cooling is too rapid, the temperature gradients will be too
steep, thus resulting in excessive distortion in the part. After the cooling
process come the process steps for unpacking, cleaning, and postprocessing
of the part. The sintered part sits in loose powder, from which it can be
removed. The part then can be cleaned using compressed air to remove
powder residues. Any feedstock material that has not been fused can be
reused. For optimal results, approximately a 1:1 mixture of old and new
powder should be used.
Figure 2.8. Grippers produced via additive manufacturing (Festo). ADVANTAGES OF LASER S INTERING

Short throughtime compared with beam melting processes

Possible to create complex, functionally integrated parts

Usable, functional components with complex geometries can be


Wide range of materials


Shrinkage and distortion of large components owing to the thermal

construction process

Porous surface

Aging owing to the eects of UV light

2.5.3. 3D Printing ( Figures 2.9 to 2.11)

Figure 2.9. 3D printer made by voxeljet (voxeljet).

Figure 2.10. Model for a shoecreated with a 3D printer.

Figure 2.11. Model for a gearunit created with a 3D printer. PROCESS DESCRIPTION

3D printing (3DP) is an additive process in which a liquid binder is applied to

a bed of powder in a targeted manner by means of a print head or nozzle.
The part is created one layer at a time by successively lowering the platform
and then applying a thin layer of powder. By selecting an appropriate
combination of powder and binder, it is possible to work with a wide range of
materials, including plastics, ceramics, sand (for casting molds), and metals.
Because the print head is much less expensive than a laser system, the costs
of this process are much lower relative to LS. To improve the mechanical
properties of plastic parts, after the models are constructed, they are
posttreated using inltration (e.g., with epoxy resin or wax). When
processing powdered metal, the material is fused by means of a binder
substance and consolidated to form a green compact. This is then heat
treated in a similar manner to IMLS and inltrated with bronze. ADVANTAGES OF 3D PRINTING

High construction speed

Many dierent materials can be used.

Large work areas are possible.

A considerable number of system manufacturers ( Figure 2.9 )

Colored parts can be created.


Low surface quality

Mediocre mechanical properties owing to low density

2.5.4. Fused Deposition Modeling ( Figures 2.12 and 2.13 )

Figure 2.12. Component quality via FDM.

Figure 2.13. Various componentscreated with FDM. PROCESS DESCRIPTION

In extrusion processes, a liquid or softened material is applied to a platform

via one or more nozzles. The subsequent cooling process gives the part its
strength. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), also known as fused layer
modeling (FLM), is the most notable process that makes use of only one
material. A subcategory of this process is multijet or polyjet modeling , which
can be used to create parts with graded properties. Here, the nozzle
generally has two degrees of freedom (in the X and Y directions), whereas
the entire platform can be moved in the Z direction. Thus 3D parts can be
manufactured in this way. The adhesive bond between the extruded beads is
formed during the cooling process. The bead structure results in a relatively
low surface quality, as can be seen in Figure 2.12 . ADVANTAGES OF FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING

Good mechanical properties

Compact system

Can be used as an oce system

Possible to work with ABS

With multiple-nozzle systems, multimaterial parts are easy to implement.

Large number of system manufacturers

Build-it-yourself systems are available. DISADVANTAGES OF FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING

Low surface quality

Overhangs are hard to implement because no supporting material is


Considerable work is required to remove the supports.

2.5.5. Stereolithography PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Stereolithography is the oldest of the additive manufacturing technologies.

In this process, plastic parts are created by means of selective 3D
polymerization of a photosensitive resin. Polymerization generally is
performed using a UV laser in which the critical energy required to cure the
part is reached only at the focal point of the laser beam. By lowering the
platform, a new layer of liquid resin can be deposited on top of the already
cured layer. By means of successive lowering and curing, a 3D part thus can
be created.

Polymerization is dened here as a chain reaction in which unsaturated

molecules are bonded to form macromolecules. This can be broken down into
four steps:

Chain initiation, or the primary reaction

Chain propagation

Chain termination

Chain transfer (branching of a molecule chain)

The materials used in stereolithography have to respond to UV radiation and

reach chain termination very quickly so that the resin is cured only in the
illuminated areas. In order to give the parts their nal strength, the
construction process itself is often followed by a curing process in a UV

Stereolithography parts are used above all as concept models or functional

models during the product-emergence process. Another area of application
for stereolithography is the creation of master patterns for casting under
vacuum and investment casting.

One further development of stereolithography is microstereolithography,

which can be used to produce very complex geometries that at the same time
also have ne details. In this process, the resin is not cured point by point
using a laser, but rather an entire layer is cured over its whole area by means
of a digital light processing (DLP) chip. ADVANTAGES OF S TEREOLITHOGRAPHY

Easy to produce complex, thin-walled structures

Practically no thermal stress, thanks to the low laser power (generally <1

High-precision parts can be produced. DISADVANTAGES OF S TEREOLITHOGRAPHY

Relatively quick aging process of the materials owing to the UV component

of natural daylight
Changing resins is complex, time-consuming, and expensive.

Overhanging areas of parts require support structures ( Figure 2.14 ).

Figure 2.14. Component created using stereolithography with

supporting structures.

Figure 2.15. Principle of mask sintering (Sinter Mask).

2.5.6. Other Processes MASK S INTERING

Mask sintering (MS) is very similar to SLS. Here too, energy is applied to a
powdered feedstock material in order to fuse it. Unlike with laser sintering,
mask sintering does not involve a single laser beam that is deected by
means of a scanner but rather illumination of a layer over a large area via a
mask. The mask is printed for each layer in such a way that the energy
emitted by a UV source is reected onto the powder in the areas that are to
be consolidated. The mask consists of a mirror that is printed with ceramic
powder for each layer. Illuminating a complete layer over a large area greatly
reduces the construction time per layer. DIGITAL LIGHT PROCESSING

Digital light processing (DLP) uses a similar process sequence to that of

stereolithography, but through the use of a special chip, it is possible to
illuminate and consolidate an entire layer at a time. The DLP projector is
controlled by converting the construction data into a bitmap format and
projecting them onto the construction plane as a mask via the mirror unit. As
in conventional stereolithography, construction in a uid means that support
structures are necessary. This process is especially used in the additive
manufacturing of microcomponents. LAMINATED -O BJECT MANUFACTURING

In laminated-object manufacturing (LOM), also called laminated-layer

manufacturing (LLM), the feedstock is in the form of sheets of material, for
example, plastic lms or sheets of paper. These are applied to each other
layer on layer, bonded, and then cut along the component contours. Both
laser systems and conventional cutting tools such as rollers are used for this.
The completed block is removed from the system, and the sections that are
not part of the component are removed. It is also possible to work with
metallic materials. Thanks to the thinness of each individual layer, high
surface quality can be achieved. LASER CLADDING

In laser cladding, a laser beam is used to create a localized weld pool on the
surface of a metallic workpiece. The metallic feedstock material (generally in
the form of a powder or wire) is applied to this weld pool by means of a
feeder unit. By moving the weld pool over the surface of the material, it is
possible to create a bead-shaped line. To protect the fused material against
oxidation, the process generally takes place in an inert atmosphere. Thus 3D
material solids can be built up by superimposing a number of individual
layers. Components built up using this additive process have a comparable
density to that of components created from the same material using
conventional processes. Components created using laser cladding generally
have a relatively rough structure that is very similar to the structure of a
casting. Furthermore, as yet only low surface quality can be obtained using
this process.

2.6. Summary

Additive manufacturing processes can be used to produce prototypes,

casting molds, and end products. In all cases, the part being produced has to
be available as a 3D CAD model. Depending on the part's intended purpose, a
wide range of dierent layer manufacturing processes can be employed. In
addition to the processes mentioned, a number of others exist that dier only
slightly from the ones already described.

Current R&D work in the eld of additive manufacturing processes is focused

on a wide range of aspects. These include speeding up the production
process, for example, through higher laser powers and thus faster deposition
rates. In addition, further postprocessing steps have to be performed after
the additive manufacturing process in order to achieve adequate component
quality. This means that R&D work is centering on both the robustness of the
process and ensuring component quality. The constant expansion of the
range of materials that can be processed means that more and more areas of
application are being opened up using additive manufacturing processes.

2.7. Additive Manufacturing Processes

Important points to remember:

1. Rapid technologies include both additive and subtractive manufacturing

processes. Their goal is to produce parts or tools quickly.

2. Additive manufacturing processes join amorphous materials or

materials with a neutral form layer on layer to form a physical workpiece
directly from the 3D CAD data.

3. In order to implement additive manufacturing processes, the following

requirements must be met:
a. Data models for the parts being produced must be available on 3D CAD

b. During process planning, the solid/surface model must be broken down

into individual layers.

c. A process-specic NC program has to be generated.

4. Parts created using additive processes dier greatly as to their

consistency, precision, and surface depending on the specic process

5. A large number of additive processes are used in industry today. The

product-emergence process phase plays an important role here.

6. The additive manufacturing processes in use today can be classied based

on two aspects:
a. According to the feedstock materialpowdered granulates, liquid-
plastic resins, or solid materials

b. According to the shaping methoddirectly 3D or by superimposing 2D

individual layers

7. While the rst process to be employed industrially was stereolithography,

today a large number of additional commercial processes exist.

8. All currently used commercial processes operate two-dimensionally.

9. The ve most important processes at present are

a. Beam melting of fully functional metallic parts and prototypes.

b. Laser sintering of both powdered plastics and single/double-

component metals.

c. 3D printing, that is, the powdered feedstock material is consolidated

via the targeted introduction of a binder liquid.

d. Fused deposition modeling, which heats thermoplastic wires in a

nozzle and fuses the material in the shape of a bead.

e. Stereolithography, that is, layer-by-layer polymerization of liquid resin.

10. Rapid prototyping is dened as the quick production of illustrative
objects or models that provide only limited functions compared with the
subsequent component.

11. Rapid tooling brings together processes that can be used to create tools
(e.g., for casting) in order to produce components in the genuine material.

12. Rapid manufacturing is used to describe manufacturing processes that

allow the direct production of fully functional parts (end products).

Hans B. Kief; Helmut A. Roschiwal: CNC Handbook. Additive Manufacturing
Processes, Chapter (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012), AccessEngineering

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