Additive manufacturing (AM) joins materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer (ASTM F2792). In this way, AM allows levels of hierarchical, shape, material and functional complexities unequaled by conventional manufacturing technologies.
In the metal industry, AM successes are many:
Aviation: GE 3D-printed their 30,000th fuel nozzle tip for their LEAP engine in October 2018. Better fuel efficiency, weight reduction, and part consolidation were some of the benefits of using additive technologies;
Biomedical: Stryker offers implants integrating their Tritanium® In-Growth Technology, which features an additively manufactured porous structure that promotes bone in-growth and biological fixation;
Aerospace: Relativity Space has built Stargate, the largest metal 3D printer in the world that will be used to produce entirely 3D-printed rockets in a matter days instead of years;
Dental: 3DRPD has 3D-printed over 150,000 patient-specific removable partial dentures made of biocompatible cobalt-chrome alloy using the laser powder bed fusion process.