Additive Manufacturing (AM), is a term most people may not be so familiar with. If you are more familiar with 3D printing, then you can think of this and AM as the same thing. Something which to me still feels like a technology of the future, this process has been around for nearly 40 years now, and usage has been steadily on the rise. According to Forbes, companies 3D printing using metals had risen from 28% in 2017 to 36% in 2018.
Essentially, instead of the traditional method of manufacturing through the removal of material, AM refers to the process of creating a product by building up from nothing. You can achieve this through the repeated addition of multitudes of fine layers. Fuse them together as they are added, and you create a strong, accurate result.
One of the main advantages to using AM is that it is able to produce complex shapes, and fast. This allows for bolder product design, as well as results that more accurate and robust. As the process is far quicker than producing via traditional means, you can save time, hassle and money.
One practical application of Additive Manufacturing is in the reproduction of valuable church statues, which all too often need replacing due to damage or theft.
A church in Luxembourg have taken to recreating some of their most treasured artefacts through these means, allowing them to keep the originals safely stored away.