Introducing "Additive Manufacturing," a New Publication from Modern Machine Shop and MoldMaking Technology

A new quarterly supplement to both magazines focuses on the production applications of equipment that builds parts layer by layer.

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You might not have thought about it this way before, but the way your shop makes parts probably has always been subtractive.
 
A block or bar gets milled or turned to create the desired shape, for example. Or a casting or forging gets milled and drilled to the final spec.
 
Starting next month, a new publication will look at an approach to production that is the conceptual opposite of this. Additive Manufacturing, a new quarterly supplement to both Modern Machine Shop and MoldMaking Technology magazines, will focus on the CNC technologies that do not remove material, but instead add material in order to build up parts layer by layer. “Digital manufacturing,” “rapid prototyping” and “3D printing” are other terms have been associated with this technology. The new supplement will look at the practical, industrial applications of this method of making parts—particularly the ways it is being used to produce mold tooling, functional prototypes and end-use components.
 
Why devote a publication to this topic? The answer relates to not only the applications today, but also the applications soon to come. In the coming years, we expect additive manufacturing to expand dramatically out of its current niche—growing to account for a noticeable and noteworthy portion of how discrete parts get made.
Why do we expect this? A few reasons:
 
1. Design freedom. Additive processes produce forms that are impossible for machining to achieve. Examples include molds and airfoils with snaking internal channels for optimal heat transfer. Performance demands on all manner of high-value parts are intensifying, and certain performance demands are best met with an additively manufactured part.
 
2. Material efficiency. Manufacturers confronted with increasing material costs—because of both growing demand for the material and more restrictive environmental requirements—will face growing pressure to use material economically. The “chip” in chip-making processes will look more and more like expensive waste.
 
3. Complexity without cost. A form with highly intricate details no longer needs the cost premium of a highly intricate cutting cycle. The complexity can instead be built up within an additive cycle.
 
To be sure, comparing additive and subtractive processes today is not a case of comparing yin and yang. CNC machining is a proven, precise and well-understood means of making parts. Additive manufacturing faces hurdles related to tolerance, finish, material properties and control over the process. However, in one application after another, those hurdles are being overcome. The decade we are in will be the one in which the applications of additive start to add up.
 
Our new quarterly supplement will go to magazine subscribers likely to have a serious interest in this technology soon. If that describes you, and you want to be sure to receive Additive Manufacturing, then please request it. The checkbox allowing you to do this is now part of the subscription renewal form found at mmsonline.com/subscribe and moldmakingtechnology.com/subscribe.

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