Pennsylvania State University
The Challenge with AM Process Substitution
I have lost track of how many times I have stressed the economic (and technical) challenges companies face when attempting process substitutions with additive manufacturing (AM), or what I often refer to as “replicating” a part with AM. In short, everyone thinks a metal AM part is going to be cheaper than the machined, cast or forged version of the part (or as strong as the injection-molded part for those working in plastics) based on the hype, only to find that it is not. The “sticker shock” and disappointment that ensue often dampens the enthusiasm for AM and can undermine future AM investments, creating an uphill battle for AM.