Is additive manufacturing a good name for 3D printing?

For my business, I don’t think so. When I tell people I have an additive manufacturing company they don’t know what I’m talking about. To the layman, additive manufacturing could be the creation or development of ingredients for petrol or jam! So, personally, it’s really not that great in this context.

So where did the additive manufacturing title come from?

Additive manufacturing is the process of creating a solid 3D object from a 2D digital image, and simply describes the sequential laying down of material on top of another until the object is complete. This, of course, is different from the subtractive manufacturing process where components are machined and lumps of material removed, rather than adding material as in 3D printing.

But these, for my customers to understand it, are still weak reasons to run with the title. Consider traditional injection molding where material is literally added to a mold; this also is additive manufacturing.  So injection molding is as much like additive manufacturing as 3D printing.

In my view “3D printing” is still the best way to describe the 3D printing business and its processes. There is no need for fancy names, but if we must have one, how does this sound: AMA (Automated Material Arrangement)?

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