Table of Contents
ISRN Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 208760, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/208760
Review Article

A Review of Additive Manufacturing

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA

Received 29 May 2012; Accepted 17 June 2012

Academic Editors: N. Anifantis and F. Findik

Copyright © 2012 Kaufui V. Wong and Aldo Hernandez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Additive manufacturing processes take the information from a computer-aided design (CAD) file that is later converted to a stereolithography (STL) file. In this process, the drawing made in the CAD software is approximated by triangles and sliced containing the information of each layer that is going to be printed. There is a discussion of the relevant additive manufacturing processes and their applications. The aerospace industry employs them because of the possibility of manufacturing lighter structures to reduce weight. Additive manufacturing is transforming the practice of medicine and making work easier for architects. In 2004, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers did a classification of the various technologies and there are at least four additional significant technologies in 2012. Studies are reviewed which were about the strength of products made in additive manufacturing processes. However, there is still a lot of work and research to be accomplished before additive manufacturing technologies become standard in the manufacturing industry because not every commonly used manufacturing material can be handled. The accuracy needs improvement to eliminate the necessity of a finishing process. The continuous and increasing growth experienced since the early days and the successful results up to the present time allow for optimism that additive manufacturing has a significant place in the future of manufacturing.