Additive refers to how a part or design is created—all additive parts are built layer-by-layer. The layer-by-layer build method differs from processes that remove excess material through various forms of machining or that inject liquified material into a mold as in injection molding. There are a number of methods of building a part in this manner, along with a range of variations.
This information guide covers those main methods of building a part layer-by-layer so that you can decide what might work best for you.
A major benefit of additive manufacturing/3D printing is that it gives you freedom to design with few constraints. Most traditional design for manufacturability rules do not apply as additive technology easily handles complex geometries with cavities, undercuts, overhangs and more that traditional methods cannot do without high cost. What may have been an impossible design to make is now feasible.