Environmental Advantages in Additive Manufacturing
- Analise Walter (Boeing) | Cheryl L. Marcham (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- January 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 34 - 38
- 2020. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 7 since 2007
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- Additive manufacturing has been advancing in technology since the late 1980s and is forecasted to take large strides in the manufacturing market.
- The environmental advantages of additive manufacturing must be considered to strategize for improving manufacturing sustainability.
- Research is proving that additive processes are more efficient and reduce the environmental impact of waste products than conventional manufacturing. This article details several of the advantages and challenges to additive manufacturing.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a technology that uses a variety of methods to ultimately apply layers of material and create products (Ford & Despeisse, 2016; Ford, Mortara & Minshall, 2016). Although there has been an expansion in recent technology, AM has been used in manufacturing for a few decades (Ford, Mortara, et al., 2016). Since the late 1980s, AM has grown from simple product designs, with a focus on prototyping and customization, to modern times with billions of dollars in revenue and large-scale production of consumer and industrial products (Cotteleer, 2014). Forecasts showed a near $10 billion market by 2020, with automotive, aerospace and medical industries leading the way (Cotteleer, 2014).
Several AM technologies are available to manufacturers today and, although the end products of those technologies are similarly layered, the processes are much different. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/ American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard 52900:2015 (ASTM F2793) categorizes AM processes into seven categories: binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion (including several sintering methods), sheet lamination and vat photopolymerization (Table 1, p. 36). There is a great deal of diversity not only in machine and process technology, but also in material opportunities. Commonly used raw materials include various plastics and metals, but new developments are coming into the AM world using living tissues, glass and composites (Cotteleer, 2014).
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