Additive manufacturing (AM) has transformed the way of manufacturing metallic parts due to its ability of rapid prototyping, customization, reduced waste, and cost-effectiveness for small-batch manufacturing, and it has been increasingly replacing milling and molding processes. Directed energy deposition and powder-based fusion AM are the major classes of metal AM technologies, which are already well-established to print high-volume and small complex parts, respectively. However, the increasing demand for the fabrication of small devices, due to the miniaturization trend that is occurring in several industries fields, requires the development of specialized metal AM systems with the ability to increase the resolution of the printed parts. Thus, micro-metal additive manufacturing (MMAM) systems are now being developed using a scaling-down approach of the currently well-established metal AM technologies. In this review, a state-of-art analysis of the existing body of knowledge including the existing MMAM technologies, process parameters, and main results associated with MMAM was compiled and critically discussed. A surface texture index is defined, and a comparison of the trade-off between surface finishing and the building rate was performed considering the metal AM processes and the already developed scaled-down technologies. Additionally, other important aspects of the process (e.g., cost-related, health, environmental risks) are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3547-3564
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Micro-metal additive manufacturing (MMAM); Micro-direct energy deposition
  • Micro-powder bed fusion
  • Resolution


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