The Basic Additive Manufacturing Process 130

This class provides an overview of the build process used in additive manufacturing. Upon completing "The Basic AM Process," users should know the eight basic steps involved in creating an AM product.

CLASS DETAILS

Class Name:
The Basic Additive Manufacturing Process 130
Description:
This class provides an overview of the build process used in additive manufacturing. Upon completing "The Basic AM Process," users should know the eight basic steps involved in creating an AM product.
Version:
1.0
Difficulty:
Beginner
Number of Lessons:
12
Additional Language:
Spanish

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • The Basic Additive Manufacturing Process
  • Step 1: Designing in CAD
  • Step 2: Converting CAD to STL
  • Step 3: Machine Setup
  • Step 4: Transferring and Manipulating the Design
  • Step 5: Building the Product
  • Step 6: Removal
  • Step 7: Post-Processing
  • Step 8: Application
  • Different Versions of the Basic Process
  • Summary

Objectives

  • List the basic steps of the additive manufacturing process.
  • Explain how designs are created for additive manufacturing.
  • Describe what occurs when a CAD file is converted to an STL file.
  • Describe machine setup activities.
  • Describe the process of transferring and manipulating an STL file.
  • Describe what an operator needs to do while the AM machine is building a piece.
  • Describe what occurs in the removal step of the additive manufacturing process.
  • Describe the processes that may take place in the post-processing step of the additive manufacturing process.
  • Describe what can be done with a finished additive manufacturing product.
  • Describe how individual additive manufacturing processes may differ from the basic steps of the process.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
abrasive finishing The use of an abrasive, such as sandpaper, to polish and smooth the surface of a part. Abrasive finishing is included in the post-processing step of the AM process.
additive manufacturing AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
AM Additive manufacturing. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
build platform The flat surface on which an AM part is created. On many machines, the build platform is removable once the build is complete.
CAD Computer-aided design. A computer system used to design a model of a product. CAD models are converted into STL format for use by additive manufacturing machines.
CMM Coordinate-measuring machine. A sophisticated electronic measuring instrument with a flat polished table that inspects parts in three-dimensional space using either a contact or a non-contact probe. AM manufacturers may use CMMs during the reverse engineering process.
coating application The application of surface treatments to change the mechanical properties of a product. Coating application is included in the post-processing step of the AM process
computer-aided design CAD. A computer system used to design a model of a product. CAD models are converted into STL format for use by additive manufacturing machines.
coordinate-measuring machine CMM. A sophisticated electronic measuring instrument with a flat polished table that inspects parts in three-dimensional space using either a contact or a non-contact probe. AM manufacturers may use CMMs during the reverse engineering process.
curing The use of ultraviolet or visible radiation to completely harden a part. Curing, a method included in the AM post-processing step, is often necessary for parts built with photopolymerization.
data Any type of information, usually values or numbers, about a specific product design. CAD files often contain extra data that is discarded in the conversion to an STL file.
emboss To carve, mold, or stamp a design onto the surface of an object. Embossing is one method of adding identifying marks to a part or an object.
fused deposition FDM. An additive manufacturing process that builds objects by extruding layers of material. FDM usually uses thermoplastic materials.
geometric Data concerning the size and shape of a part. The geometric data of an existing object can be used during reverse engineering to create a design.
heat treating A finishing process that exposes metal parts to heat. Some AM products made from metal materials may require heat treatment before they are considered complete.
mechanical properties A property that determine a material's ability to compress, stretch, bend, scratch, dent, or break. The mechanical properties of a material describe the way a material responds to forces.
network Two or more computers or machines that are connected and communicate with each other. Networking enables computers to communicate with additive manufacturing machines.
polygons A closed shape consisting of line segments that has at least three sides. CAD designs are made of flat polygons assembled into three dimensional models.
post-processing A variety of finishing processes that occur after a part has been manufactured. Post-processing can include abrasive finishing, coating application, curing, and heat treating.
prototyping Creating a preliminary model of a product used for evaluation of performance of a design. AM processes are often used to create both the prototypes and final versions of a product.
resolution The amount of detail that an AM machine can build in a set amount of space. Higher resolutions yield more detailed part features.
reverse engineering A process that allows a person to capture three dimensional geometric data about an existing object and convert that into a CAD design. Reverse engineering is being increasingly used among AM manufacturers.
sheet lamination An additive manufacturing process that forms an object by bonding sheets of material together using an adhesive, heat, and pressure.
stereolithography An early additive manufacturing technique that used a computer-controlled laser to build a product layer by layer. The STL file format is named after stereolithography.
stereolithography file STL. The file format used by additive manufacturing machines. Stereolithography files are named after the stereolithography AM process.
STL Stereolithography file. The file format used by additive manufacturing machines. "STL" is also short for "Standard Tessellation Language."
structural integrity The ability of a material to hold together under a load, including its own weight. In additive manufacturing, support material is used to add structural integrity to a product as it is being manufactured.
support materials Additional material used in the additive manufacturing process to reinforce the product as it is being constructed. Support material is removed from the AM product once the build is complete.
support structures Additional structures used in the additive manufacturing process to reinforce the product as it is being constructed. Support structures are removed from the AM product one the build is complete.
tolerances An acceptable deviation from a desired dimension that still meets specifications. Tolerances indicate the allowable difference between a physical feature and its intended design.