We have grown accustomed to using the acronym AM to indicate additive manufacturing. In the past companies like Airbus have also used ALM (additive layer manufacturing). As additive manufacturing evolves into a technology used in direct, digital production of large series of parts, rather than one-offs, short batches, prototypes and tools, we now need a new acronym that can more immediately represent this evolutionary process: AMP, for Additive Mass Production, should be that acronym.
One aspect that this acronym needs to be able to convey is that AM is used for the production of large series of parts. We need to drop “manufacturing” from additive manufacturing, since using both “manufacturing” and “production” is redundant.
The additive manufacturing of the future is not just about the “manufacturing” process as much as it is about its “production” workflows. The new acronym needs to rapidly indicate that we are talking about “additive mass production”
How do we differentiate between production and mass production? As 3D printing technologies accelerate in terms of productivity, the world is changing towards requiring shorter and more customized production batches. Mass production is no longer about millions of parts that are all the same, but also about thousands of batches of thousands of parts that are all similar and customized.
*Initially we thought that the acronym needed to also indicate that additive mass production refers to digital-only processes, and we used the acronym DAMP. However, we have now come to realize that the digital aspect of additive mass production can be taken as a given as we move into the future of production. In addition, as someone correctly pointed out, DAMP has a slightly negative connotation to it, referring to a sense of humidity that can be associated with a sense of staleness which is as far as can be from the dynamic nature of additive manufacturing. AMP has a more positive connotation and is remindful of terms such as “amplification” and “Ampere”, both of which are associated with power and growth, perfectly describing the overall trend for AM as it evolves into additive mass production.