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Additive Manufacturing Vs Subtractive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing is a transformative approach to industrial production that enables the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems. It is defined as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer.

Subtractive Manufacturing is an appropriate choice for parts used for small and large volume production runs, to obtain specific finishes, or to obtain specific mechanical properties. it gives you the opportunity to design, prototype, and manufacture in end-use materials.

Additive Manufacturing Vs Subtractive Manufacturing 

Additive Manufacturing is actually a synonym for 3D printing and any process by which 3D objects are constructed by successively depositing material in layers such that it becomes a predesigned shape. Modern 3D printing has always been very useful for rapid prototype development but it is starting to make its impact on the manufacturing world as well.  it has some features and processes we will show them as follow.

  • Involves adding layers to create an object.
  • Include 3D printing, direct digital, and layered fabrication.
  • Use computers and 3d printing tool to create prototypes.
  • Leaves a rough surface which needs to be finished by sanding.
  • Objects can be easily built in layers.
  • Best suited for smaller items or parts.
  • Depending on the size of the object. 
  • The software is available to link the design to a 3D printer.
  • It is cheap to process.

Subtractive Manufacturing is a process by which 3D objects are constructed by successively cutting material away from a solid block of material. Subtractive manufacturing can be done by manually cutting the material but is most typically done with a CNC Machine. its features we will explain.

  • Removes material from the object.
  • The process is manual removal, traditional machining, and CNC machine.
  • Use computers and robotics to assist machine processing.
  • The surface can be smoothed.
  • Milling undercuts shapes can be difficult.
  • Best suited for manufacturing items such as metals.
  • fast process.
  • CNC machinist is required to operate the mill and oversee production.
  • More expensive than additive manufacturing.

Both additive and subtractive manufacturing expedite the prototyping process. The main consideration is the volume and type of material and the effect this will have on the speed of fabrication. A large object that has a high volume, a large metal cog, for example, lends itself more to subtractive manufacturing. A small plastic part, such as a bracket, might be more suited to 3D printing.