Additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) is a production method that allows the creation of objects (component parts, semi-finished products or finished products) by generating and adding successive layers of material; this contrasts with what happens in many traditional production techniques in which we proceed by subtraction from the solid (turning, milling, etc.).
This is an important evolution in the context of the broader trend towards the digitalization of manufacturing that takes place through the dialogue between computers and machines, thanks to the sharing of information (between machines, between people and between machines and people).
In recent years the opportunities to use this technology have expanded considerably thanks to the possibility of “printing” larger objects, in a much wider range of materials (in plastic, metal, ceramic, wax, plaster, composite materials, elastomers, photopolymers, etc. .), with very short production times compared to the past.