Intro To Additive Manufacturing Dictionary

ABS Plastic → Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is an impact-resistant engineering thermoplastic.  Typically used for applications that require lightweight and heat resistant properties.  Commonly used across many industries and the most popular 3D printed material on the market.  Due to its characteristics, it’s ideal for FDM or extrusion technologies.

CAD → Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computers to create, modify, analyze and optimize designs.  By outputting an STL file from CAD software, engineers can take their 3-dimensional design from the virtual world and recreate it in the physical using 3D printing.

DfAM → Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is the process in which engineers and designers prepare their files for 3D printing.  There are certain considerations to make when printing your digital designs.  To learn more about how to optimize your design for 3D printing, download our design guidelines.

Ergonomics → Referring to human engineering, ergonomics is the study and design of products that humans interact with on a daily basis.  As it relates to 3D printing, engineers measure and test ergonomics by developing products that make our lives more efficient or safer.  For example, the grip on a power tool that fits the human hand has been designed and tested to be comfortable and effective.

JIT Manufacturing → Just-in-time manufacturing is a direct reference to the commitment that engineers and designers make to improve their manufacturing workflows.  Whether it’s increasing their speed to market, reducing costs of production or improving supply chain efficiency, these are all correlated.  The implementation of 3D printing in the manufacturing network has proven to be successful on all of these various platforms.

Industry 4.0 → Industry 4.0 is the concept that true autonomous manufacturing will become possible with the full integration of artificial intelligence, workflow software, robotics and additive manufacturing.  The goal is to create smart factories that can eliminate wasteful spending and efficiently improve the production process.

Jigs & Fixtures → A fixture is a work-holding or support device used in the manufacturing industry.  Typically used to locate and support the work, jigs & fixtures ensure that all parts being produced maintain conformity and interchangeability.

FDM → Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is oftentimes referred to as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and is the most common form of 3D printing available on the market today.

FST Certified Materials → FST or Flame, Smoke and Toxicity certified materials meet regulatory standards that protect human health and safety.  FST certification meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

MRO → Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) may include spare parts, pumps, valves, consumables, and other pieces of equipment relating to the restoration or function of product manufacturing.  As it relates to the additive manufacturing industry, many industrial companies utilize 3D printing for replacement parts that enable MRO departments to focus on equipment restoration and the reduction to storage and warehousing.

Rapid Prototyping → Coined in the late 1980’s, rapid prototyping is the alternate term used for 3D printing.  Traditional prototyping development was considered a long and laborious process that was expensive and problematic.  The introduction of 3D printing enabled design engineers to accurately replicate their digital designs in the physical world and make the appropriate adjustments for improvement.  To this day, rapid prototyping remains the most common use for 3D printing.

Sintering → To coalesce into a solid or porous mass by heating and compressing powdered materials.  Many additive technologies use this process and are able to produce higher quality and stronger materials because of it.

STL Files → Stereolithography (STL) files are the most commonly used file format for 3D printing.  It allows the computer to communicate with the 3D printer hardware, identifying the slicing layers needed for the printing process.

MJF → Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is a proprietary technology created by Hewlett Packard (HP) introduced in 2016.  Similar to binder jetting technology, MJF operates with powder bed fusion.  A layer of powder is fused together with the help of a fusing agent and, after printing, a heat source.  The process is then repeated, layer by layer, to create the final part.  To learn more about the MJF technology, material capabilities and applications, visit our MJF Page.

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