This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of an important, rapidly emerging, manufacturing technology that is alternatively called additive manufacturing (AM), direct digital manufacturing, free form fabrication, or 3D printing, etc. A broad contextual overview of metallic AM is provided. AM has the potential to revolutionize the global parts manufacturing and logistics landscape. It enables distributed manufacturing and the productions of parts-on-demand while offering the potential to reduce cost, energy consumption, and carbon footprint. This paper explores the material science, processes, and business consideration associated with achieving these performance gains. It is concluded that a paradigm shift is required in order to fully exploit AM potential.
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