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Sheet Lamination: Applications, Pros 
and Cons

Sheet Lamination: Applications, Pros 
and Cons
July 6, 2022
Sustainment Team

Additive manufacturing is broadly divided into 7 families, and sheet lamination is one of them.

To start with, let’s briefly explain what additive manufacturing is. Then we’ll get into sheet lamination, specifically, along with how it works and what types there are, what applications it has, and what its advantages and disadvantages are.

Additive manufacturing (AM) refers to a manufacturing process in which you create an object through building it one layer at a time. With advanced computer-aided design (CAD) software, you can precisely deposit material layer by layer and then fuse them. The process allows for the creation of designs that are lighter and more complex.

What Is Sheet Lamination?

Sheet lamination involves the stacking and laminating of thin sheets of material to build a 3D object. Adhesive or thermal bonding, brazing, and ultrasonic welding are some different lamination methods available. Machining and/or laser cutting produces the final shape.

Sheet lamination is categorized into groups that are based on the build material used or the forming methods applied to the task. Further categorization by the lamination technique is also possible. In addition, there are ways to categorize lamination types by when the shapes are formed.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Form-then-bond: To fashion 3D geometry, the sheet material is first cut to the desired shape. After that, it’s bonded to the base or to the previous layer.
  2. Bond-then-form: Here, it’s the other way around. The layers of sheet material are bonded to the base or each other first, and then cut to the desired shape.

Examples of build material include ceramic, metal, paper, plastic, polymer, and woven fiber composites. Parts produced via sheet lamination have the least additive resolution of the seven additive manufacturing (AM) processes, but it has a low cost and a faster manufacturing time.

What Are the Applications, Pros, and Cons of Sheet Lamination?

There are different types of lamination processes for different purposes. Some examples include paper-based techniques for creating full-color prints, metal-based lamination for use in hybrid manufacturing, and techniques for making composite fiber parts and ceramic parts.

  • Advantages:
    • Faster production time
    • Lower cost (this and the above make sheet lamination a popular choice for making low-fidelity prototypes)
    • Easy-to-handle materials
    • Wide range of parts that can be produced
    • Possibility of making multi-material layers
    • Ease of recycling cut material
  • Disadvantages
    • Post-processing is usually necessary
    • Options for materials may be too limited for some applications
    • Wide range of parts that can be produced
    • Generates more waste than other additive manufacturing (AM) processes do
    • Post-lamination removal of excess material is sometimes difficult and time-consuming

Ultimately, the job at hand determines whether sheet lamination is the right choice for you and what type is called for. A good AM company can help you figure those things out.

The Sustainment Community

When you need specialized work like sheet lamination, it can be challenging to find the right company for it, and sometimes that process comes with setbacks. After all, every company’s website says that they’re the best at what they do, but everyone can’t be the best at once.

Once you join the Sustainment community, our AI-based matching platform and resources help to connect you with trustworthy sheet lamination businesses near you. This saves you time, hassle, and money.

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