It All Adds Up to a Better Product


Marines from various units learn how to setup and print designs using an Invent3D printer during a class at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, allows Marines to produce parts quickly, with exact specifications and at almost any location.


This is a short introductory course on Additive Manufacturing (AM), built specifically for small and medium sized manufacturers who are interested in learning more about this technology and how it might be applicable to their current and future operations. 

What is Additive Manufacturing?

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an appropriate name to describe the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal, concrete or one day…..human tissue.

Common to AM technologies is the use of a computer, 3D modeling software (Computer Aided Design or CAD), machine equipment and layering material.  Once a CAD sketch is produced, the AM equipment reads in data from the CAD file and lays downs or adds successive layers of liquid, powder, sheet material or other, in a layer-upon-layer fashion to fabricate a 3D object.

The term AM encompasses many technologies including subsets like 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping (RP), Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing and additive fabrication.

AM application is limitless. Early use of AM in the form of Rapid Prototyping focused on preproduction visualization models. More recently, AM is being used to fabricate end-use products in aircraft, dental restorations, medical implants, automobiles, and even fashion products.

While the adding of layer-upon-layer approach is simple, there are many applications of AM technology with degrees of sophistication to meet diverse needs including:

+ a visualization tool in design
+ a means to create highly customized products for consumers and professionals alike
+ as industrial tooling
+ to produce small lots of production parts
+ one day….production of human organs

Some envision AM as a complement to foundational subtractive manufacturing (removing material like drilling out material) and to lesser degree forming (like forging). Regardless, AM may offer consumers and professionals alike, the accessibility to create, customize and/or repair product, and in the process, redefine current production technology.

Whether simple or sophisticated, AM is indeed AMazing and best described in the adding of layer-upon-layer, whether in plastic, metal, concrete or one day…human tissue”.

Source Additive

Additive Manufacturing in North Carolina

The Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL) at NC State is housed in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

CAMAL Services


The Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL) provides fabrication and prototyping services for both internal NC State projects and external customers on a limited basis. Polymer and metal-based additive technologies are also available.

Furniture and Material Testing

Since 1997, Dr. Harvey West has answered the furniture industry’s questions about design, construction, and reliability. His lab houses four computer-controlled pneumatic flexible furniture testing frames – The Bifmatics:

  • a 20,000 lb. capacity universal materials testing machine

  • a computer-controlled fatigue testing device

  • two programmable environmental chambers

The lab is also equipped with several state-of-the-art, high-powered, digital microscopes.

Additive Manufacturing and Innovation Summit on

Marine Corps Air Station New River

Raleigh, North Carolina

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