Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM), and most laser powder based fusion as a technology, will deliver a number of benefits if used well. Part of the issue is the need to think outside the design box and take advantage of the unique way AM builds objects. Metal AM really delivers when you can add some innovative value into that part.
While many speak of part light weighting, footprint minimization, part consolidation, or conformal cooling channels, AM enables designers to create parts that cannot be made through traditional manufacturing methods.
Lightweighting, for example, is more than taking away a bit of material from a design and reducing material costs. It can encompass footprint minimization, part consolidation, and even conformal cooling channels.
AM enables designers to design parts that have a function that cannot be achieved and made through subtractive machining. That’s why the aerospace industry is using AM.
AM delivers returns by enabling the development of ideas that cannot be made any other way.