There were more than 2,000 exhibitors at last month's Paris air show, and my guess is that at least one-third were involved in metal forming or cutting. And all of these companies depend on “subtractive” manufacturing techniques such as turning, milling and cutting to produce their aerospace parts. It was clear that many senior executives are acutely aware of and talking about the emergence of “additive” manufacturing (AM)—sometimes known as “3-D printing”—as the next major ...

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