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79feadf2-ad45-4e65-b24e-e0ade1528b95-originalA recently client called to ask about the useful life of Digital Manufacturing equipment. Once I saw the make and models of the assets, it was clear what the client meant was 3D printing (or “Additive Manufacturing”) equipment.

Dean Bartles, the ASME’s New Technology Advisor, stated clearly in the ASME journal:

“Some people think Digital manufacturing is 3D Printing, but it’s not. Digital manufacturing is virtual representation of the of the entire manufacturing process so that designers can [see the impact of their choices] on a virtual computer screen.”

The take away… Digital Manufacturing is a design processing using software and state of the art data gathering. 3D Printing is a machine using advance design, bonding and material science that makes objects.