Additive Manufacturing harnesses computer aided design or 3D object scanners to fabricate objects with intricate geometric precision, layer by layer. Diverging from conventional manufacturing methods that typically entail material through machining or similar processes.

7 Common Processes

How to Adopt Additive Manufacturing

Assess Needs and Feasibility

Understand your business requirements. What parts/products do you currently manufacture? Are there inefficiencies or limitations in your current manufacturing process that additive manufacturing could address? Consider factors like complexity, customisation, lead times, and cost-effectiveness. 

Identify Applications, & Investigate Materials & Technologies

Determine parts or products that are suitable for additive manufacturing, such as items with complex geometries, low volume, high customisation, or those requiring rapid prototyping. 

Research available technologies and compatible materials. Consider factors such as strength, durability, flexibility, and material costs. Evaluate whether in-house printing or outsourcing is more practical.

Evaluate Equipment & Training Required

Select appropriate 3D printers and software tools based on your needs, budget, and expected output. Consider factors such as print speed, resolution, build volume, and compatibility with your chosen materials.

Ensure your team is trained in additive manufacturing processes, including design for additive manufacturing (DFAM), machine operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM)

Redesign parts/products to optimize them for additive manufacturing. This involves leveraging the unique capabilities of 3D printing to reduce material usage, improve performance, and streamline production.

Quality Control and Testing

Develop protocols for quality control and testing to ensure printed parts meet specifications and performance requirements. This may involve non-destructive testing, mechanical testing, and inspection techniques specific to additive manufacturing.


Integrate additive manufacturing into your existing workflows and supply chain processes. Coordinate with other departments (e.g., design, engineering, procurement) to streamline operations and maximize efficiency.

Scaling & Improvements

Begin with pilot projects or small-scale production runs to test the waters and identify any challenges or opportunities for improvement. As you gain experience and confidence, gradually scale up.

Stay updated on advancements in additive manufacturing technology and materials. Continuously evaluate and refine your processes to optimize efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

IP & Regulatory Compliance

Ensure that your additive manufacturing activities comply with relevant intellectual property laws and industry regulations, especially if you’re producing parts for regulated industries like aerospace or healthcare.

Cost Analysis & ROI

Monitor and analyze the costs associated with additive manufacturing, including equipment, materials, labor, and maintenance. Evaluate the return on investment (ROI) to ensure that your adoption of additive manufacturing remains financially viable and beneficial for your business.


56% of manufacturers say that AM has helped to reduce costs and improve their productivity

The use of additive manufacturing in the UK has reduced material waste by up to 90%.

The UK government has set a target for additive manufacturing to make up 8% of the global LFAM market by 2025.

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