Manufacturing techniques

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Types of manufacturing

Subtractive manufacturing

In this process, a piece of solid material (typically called stock) is placed in the work area, and the machine removes material to create the object. The most visible machine in this category is the mill, but there are many others, including the lathe.

Additive manufacturing

In this process, the machine starts with an empty work area and (typically) extrudes or melts material onto it to create the object. The most visible machine in this category is the 3d printer.

Formative manufacturing

In this process, the machine injects or pours liquid material into a mold and allows it to cool. The most visible machine in this category is the injection molder, but even jello molds are a formative manufacturing process.

Manufacturing machine and materials examples

This should not be considered an exhaustive list.

Process Sub-category Machine Typical material
Subtractive Rotating stock, movable tool lathe metal, wood
Fixed stock, Rotating tool mill metal, wood
Additive fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3d printer ABS, PLA, PET
selective laser sintering (SLS) 3d printer thermoplastic powder
stereolithography (SLA) 3d printer photopolymer
Formative forging forge + hammer metal
casting injection molder thermoplastic pellets