What metal additive manufacturing means for the metal fabricator

Prestige SM Director

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) crosses markets. Both the machining world and specialty welding and fabrication arenas have been paying attention. A high-end, previously machined part could be totally redesigned to take advantage of all that AM has to offer, complete with impossible-to-drill internal contours and impossible-to-mill contours. In this sense, metal additive complements machining.

On the other hand, metal additive technology fuses metal particles together; it is essentially welding and, therefore, potentially in the wheelhouse of a high-end specialty fabricator.

If a specialty fabricator—like those serving industries such as aerospace, medical, and defense—is eyeing metal additive technology, it should start with the basics: what these technologies are, what they can and can’t do, and (not least) what’s hype and what’s not.

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