This week’s selection is “Additive Manufacturing Technologies” by Ian Gibson.
There are plenty of introductory books for 3D printing and additive manufacturing, but this just might be the best of the lot. That is, if you want to get a picture of the entire space, not just within one sub-space of the technology.
The book assumes you know literally nothing about additive manufacturing, and starts right at the beginning with a long review of the “generic” additive manufacturing process. This review of digital manufacturing explains how every 3D printer operates, and sets up all subsequent discussions. There’s even a short bit explaining the difference between “stereolithography” and “3D printing”, and a comparision with conventional making technologies.
Then the book dives deep into each and every major 3D printing process, including:
- Vat polymerization
- Powder bed fusion
- Material extrusion
- Material jetting
- Binder jetting
- Sheet lamination
- Directed energy deposition
- Direct write technologies
- Hybrid additive manufacturing
These are not brief explanations; for example the vat polymerization section is an astonishing 44 pages in length, showing the level of detail being explored in this book.
A brief chapter looks into the impact of low cost additive manufacturing systems and how their presence affects innovation, intellectual property and other questions.
There are more sections in the book looking into the process of selecting equipment to meet the requirements of any project, a long discussion of materials types and the software involved in additive manufacturing.
The book closes with a segment on how to design 3D models for additive manufacturing.
This is easily the most comprehensive book I’ve yet seen on additive manufacturing in general, and it would be most appropriate for technology leaders that wish to gain a deep appreciation for all the current technologies.
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