During additive manufacturing, a component is generated on the basis of a 3D CAD file through the building up of material in successive layers. Fusing or chemical hardening processes are used to bring about material cohesion before applying the next layer.
As a result of the superimposition of the individual layers, the component grows three-dimensionally layer by layer.
In comparison with other forming procedures, production takes place not through the removal of material but through the addition of material. The choice of suitable materials is relatively large, including different metals, plastics, and composites.
Additive production takes place without tools, facilitating the customer-specific customization of components manufactured in this way.
In addition, geometries that could not be produced using conventional methods or that would be extremely costly to produce can be manufactured like this. These geometries can include internal cavities such as cooling ducts, bionic structures, undercuts, and lattice structures.
The use of additive manufacturing enables what was once several components to be merged into a single component, thus achieving functional integration.