HomeProductsERPWhat is Additive Manufacturing and How Can ERP Help It?

What is Additive Manufacturing and How Can ERP Help It?

Have you ever heard the term “additive manufacturing”? Yes, additive manufacturing is a new innovation in manufacturing industry that is famous in its “other name”, 3D printing. However, do you know that this technology has been around since three decades back?

What is Additive Manufacturing?

The truth speaks, what we call with additive manufacturing does not apply to 3D printing only, but also rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing (DDM). This technology advancement has dispersed well and is still continually going to surprise manufacturing industry with its development.

How Does It Work and What Are the Processes?

The basic concept of additive manufacturing is; instead od producing goods by taking material away, additive manufacturing adds to it.

Traditional manufacturing method uses raw material by carving and shaping by cutting parts of it in such a way until the form is there.

Meanwhile, additive manufacturing is the opposite pole. It creates the structure of the object by adding thousands of miniscule layers and fused during the whole process. This process requires a computer and a special software which will tell the printer how the object should be.

The cartridge is adaptable with any material that you want to use for the object and fabricates the object.

Benefits of Additive Manufacturing

Conventional manufacturing technique can produce goods with variety of shapes and designs, but additive manufacturing goes beyond it.

One of the best points of this technology is its ability to execute a wider variety of design. The design of an object that cannot be manufactured in one entire piece with traditional manufacture is not impossible in additive manufacturing.

For example, the shape of a scooped out or hollowed object can be produced with material as a whole without having to weld and attach other components. Therefore, the goods are stronger and no vulnerable spots.

The process is also quick. Manufacturing companies do not have to repeatedly do the meetings just to discuss how they can shape the object like the design. Any change in the design can be done by clicking the mouse. With this flexibility, companies can cut budget effectively.

Prior to this technology, production limitation often affects the design of the object because the it’s too complex to be true. This technology makes the company’s dream design.

How Can ERP Help Additive Manufacturing?

An effective ERP system is a key that can help companies keep up with this innovation.

The ERP system will help you keep track of how much material for the additive manufacturing production. ERP data management can track your product starting from the raw material, its shipping and delivery, and the effectiveness of the entire process with just a fingertip.

The solution of an ERP system also functions to predict how the demand is going to be in the future so that the company can prepare for it properly.

Next, because additive manufacturing technology is relatively new, making sure the 3D printer run well is a routine that you must not miss. Tracking the serial number of machines that you use with ERP system means that you can identify the origin of these machines – whether it’s from the vendor or it’s the machine that you produced yourself.

Additive manufacturing is a combination of manufacturing and technology. The ERP system can provide applications that connect discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing. Discrete manufacturing is a process creating an object with the existing components. Meanwhile, process manufacturing uses a mixture of chemicals to make a new product.

With 3D printing, your company can execute both forms of manufacturing. However, you will need an ERP system to handle them.


Additive manufacturing is a new technological breakthrough in the manufacturing industry that adds more convenience in producing goods. Its benefits also go beyond traditional marketing. However, to operate it, ERP system hold the key.

Are you in additive manufacturing industry and would like to know more about ERP? Read this following article: What is Manufacturing Software & How It Can Help Your Business Grow? or you can contact us here.

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Rachel Panjaitan
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