“Additive manufacturing” is increasingly used interchangeably with “3D printing”, so they essentially mean the same thing. The only difference seems to be that “3D printing” is used more by maker communities – hobbyists and inventors – and still retains some sort of novelty value, whereas “additive manufacturing” – despite being the newer term – is more likely to be preferred in industry circles, perhaps because it has the sound of an established technology.
But it’s not really an “established” technology in the sense that it’s only been around for a relatively short time.
According to 3DPrintingIndustry.com, it was only in 2007 that a 3D printer was available for less than $10,000 – from a company called 3D Systems, which is today one of the most well-known providers of the technology.
The most advanced 3D printers still cost quite a lot of money, especially those used by high-end manufacturers, but there are good-quality, entry-level machines available today for as little as a few hundred dollars. [Read more…] about Additive manufacturing or 3D printing? What’s the difference?