There are various kinds of manufacturing methods in the industry to manufacture different types of products from different types of materials. All the objects and assemblies around you are are ğroduced with a manufacturing method or sequences of manufacturing methods. This point is very important to understand the net-shape and near-net-shape manufacturing processes.
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In design, all the parts or assemblies have strict dimensions and tolerances that needed to be obtained. To obtain these dimensions and tolerances, one manufacturing method may not be sufficient. So, additional manufacturing or finishing processes are used. For example, a very big part is cast from cast iron. And expected surface finish can not be obtained with that casting. So, additional surface finish methods are applied to that cast part to obtain the required surface characteristics.
But, in some processes and parts, all the required dimensions and tolerances are obtained only in one step of the manufacturing method. There will be no requirement for additional finishing processes. These processes are called net-shape processes.
Examples of net-shape or near-net-shape processes; forging of metal parts, plastic injection techniques, investment casting of metal parts.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Net Shape Processes
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One of the major advantages of the net shape or near-net shape manufacturing processes is the low manufacturing costs compared with other multi-step manufacturing of parts. All the additional manufacturing costs are eliminated in net-shape processes. Engineers or factories are willing to obtain parts with the minimum steps of manufacturing methods.
The most important disadvantage of the net-shape processes is the variation of the parts and materials. Net-shape manufacturing processes do not apply to complex and not very well-known materials. So, the application area of the net-shape processes is very narrow.
The general aspects of net-shape and near-net-shape processes are like above.
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