Additive technology has evolved from rapid prototyping to rapid tooling and manufacturing of load-bearing parts for productive use. Application potential is limited by constituent strengths and weaknesses. To enfold its full potential, research, development, and industrial application have to facilitate combinations of additive and conventional technology. The concept of additive parts manufacturing has to be expanded to a mature technology contributing and facilitating hybrid products and integrated process chains. From a two-dimensional reference model, approaches to integration are derived, and their status is briefly outlined: Efforts to facilitate postprocessing by design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) and hybrid manufacturing have been raised to awareness and are being worked on. Yet, integration of pre-fabricated structures is hardly accounted for, although it bears the potential for a paradigmatic shift in manufacturing: With a wider concept of layer-based processes, Additive Technology could form the core technology for integration of components and functions to Integrated Devices, following the model of the Integrated Circuits and packaging technology in microelectronics and Microelectromechanical Systems. First developments are outlined, but research and development effort has to be dedicated to novel additive processes for this application. Finally, workflows for product developers need to be modified and trained to plan hybrid product architectures already in conceptual phases.
Part of the book: Advanced Additive Manufacturing