Additive Rapid Manufacturing (AM)
Additive Rapid Manufacturing (AM), is the term used to describe an evolution in manufacturing practices, in which the use of hard tooling is eliminated. The engineer forgets about design for manufacturing, parting lines, draft angles, etc., and instead uses the direct output of a rapid prototyping process as actual production parts. Sintered parts are ideal for this, since the parts are made from actual Nylon. There's also a time and cost savings associated with direct manufacturing, since the process of injection molding and tooling is eliminated altogether. Another benefit is the design of the part can remain somewhat flexible, since there is no tooling to modify, a new revision is as easy as changing the CAD file. Ideal applications for direct manufacturing are complex geometries, fairly low volume, or non-cosmetic parts, where absolute dimensional accuracy isn't critical to function. Examples include cable routing, wiring harnesses, internal chassis, clips, and connectors, to name a few.