MIT has launched ADAPT, an additive manufacturing consortium. ADAPT stands for the Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies. MIT believes that additive manufacturing will transform how we design, develop, and make products.
Worldwide, companies are recognizing the value of additive manufacturing (AM). They are also making sizable investments toward applications including automotive components, customized medical services, high-performance tooling, lightweight aircraft, and more.
However, AM is a nascent technology. In other words, it is still in its infancy.
According to ADAPT:
“Soon, AM will be used to create products with unforeseen performance and unite a digitally-driven production workflow that rapidly deploys advances in materials, process technologies, and computational tools.”
“New and conventional manufacturing technologies will converge into flexible, distributed manufacturing networks that enable responsive production with reduced cost and risk.”
ADAPT – goals and objectives
The consortium aims to speed up the implementation of AM. It also wants to ‘invent its future.’ Its goals and objectives are to:
- Continually assess the status of AM technology.
- Perform visionary research.
- Build a vibrant academic-industry network which includes MIT students.
- Critically asses AM technology’s status.
- Open strategic frameworks.
- Develop model-based decision tool.
- Promote critical AM education programs for professionals.
Prof. John Hart, ADAPT’s Founder and Director, said:
“3D printing compels us to rethink how we develop, produce, and service products. Rather than starting with a solid block and grinding material away, in 3-D printing – also called additive manufacturing – you start with nothing and build up your object one layer at a time.”
What is additive manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing creates three-dimensional objects by adding superfine layer after superfine layer. In other words, objects with height, width, and depth. It involves computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to make 3-dimensional shapes.
3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing involves adding layer after layer until the object is completed. It is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing.
Subtractive manufacturing works the other way round. You start, for example, with a block of metal or plastic, and cut away parts of it until you have your desired object.