What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing is an additive technology used to manufacture parts. It is ‘additive’ in that it doesn’t require a block of material or a mold to manufacture physical objects, it simply stacks and fuses layers of material.
The success of these technologies is determined by the true benefit behind them, that is, the free-form fabrication arising from the fact that no machining tools are used during a 3D printing process. AM technologies could therefore allow the designers to develop products that are, in principle, independent of how they are manufactured.
As a matter of fact, high-quality and reliable parts can be obtained only by following design rules and considering limitations that are specific of each AM process. Consequently, 3D printing opens new perspectives, but at same times poses new challenges. Maximum size of microwave components that can be built by 3D printing depends significantly both on the technology and on the building direction.