What is the difference between additive manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing?
In one of our previous articles, we showed you what additive manufacturing consists of, however, often associated with this process is subtractive manufacturing and so we decided to show you the main differences between the two processes.
Although they are totally opposite, these processes often work together due to their overlapping range of applications. If you have not read our article about additive manufacturing, it is normal that this is not a term with which you are already familiar and so, more generally, we show you again what this process consists of.
Additive manufacturing - or 3D printing - is a process through which parts or prototypes of a given product are produced. The process supports various types of materials for the confection of parts and they can be created through different additive manufacturing processes, however, in all of them the parts are created layer by layer.
Reiman has an additive manufacturing service - Reiman Additive - which includes the two main processes associated with 3D printing:
SLA - consists of creating objects through photochemical processes, namely, creating layer by layer with polymer resin using ultraviolet rays.
FDM - the production of the parts is done through an extrusion process where the object is built by depositing the melted material layer by layer. The materials used are thermoplastic filaments.
If on the one hand, Additive Manufacturing has as the main objective the addition of materials for the construction of parts, the Subtractive Manufacturing is totally opposite. This last process consists essentially in the removal of material. In other words, subtractive manufacturing is driven by a CNC (computer numerical control) that reads a g-code generated by CAM software and produces the final model to be obtained. Afterward, the cutting tool is guided to the place where it has to remove material and there the whole process begins. Although it can be confused by its name, subtractive manufacturing is also a part production process, however, it uses already made parts (massive blocks of material) and makes the necessary adjustments to remove material and thus create new parts.