Amidst popularity, there are still certain factors to consider using 3D printing technology. Can’t decide if 3D printing is for you? Here are the Advantages and Disadvantages of 3D Printing Technology.
One of the greatest advantages of 3D printing is that you can have your own design. It lets you create and customize any object that you have in mind just by using a 3D model and a 3D printer. Unlike traditional manufacturing, 3D printing technology can produce any complex shapes and geometry. This allows you to have all the parts that you need in building and be more flexible in the overall development.
When it comes to speed, 3D printing technology surpasses all other manufacturing processes. 3D model iterations are quicker and testing can be made ahead of time. 3D printing technology is also best in rapid prototyping. Prototypes can now be made in just a matter of hours. It increases productivity by getting you ready for another project.
Aside from time saving, 3D printing technology saves you costs. It doesn’t need many employees as it can operate with less supervision once you set it up. Materials used are exact so you’ll no longer worry about excess costs on materials. Moreover, you can easily modify designs unlike the conventional manufacturing process.
3D printing businesses became more accessible because of the demand in 3D printing. People are now switching to 3D printing technology to create parts instantly instead of the traditional manufacturing where it needs to be shipped overseas. Plus, the 3D models are kept in a design library so you won't worry about the availability and storage.
3D Printing technology is a single-step manufacturing process. All your needs are just one print away so 3D printing technology helps you to save time, cost and storage. This also helps to minimize or avoid inventories as you’ll only need to print as needed and with the right amount of volume.
You can trust 3D printing technologies for its consistently good quality and performance. With 3D printing technology, you'll be able to see errors ahead of time. It will give you access to test and resolve those errors easily and manage the quality of your product. Every design is laid out in a single pattern; therefore, all finished products are consistent all throughout. It also helps in reducing future risks since you can take control of the overall process.
3D Printing technology is environmentally friendly. Since it uses an additive manufacturing process, there’s no other materials needed aside from what's used in the finished product. Also, there’s minimal up to non-existent waste as materials can be recycled or reused. Moreover, carbon emission is lesser because you don’t need to ship parts in building your product.
Majority of 3D printers have small design chambers. Problem arises when you need to print bigger items. By achieving this, you’ll need to divide parts into several sections in order to print them all. This leads to additional work and also additional cost.
Since 3D printing is a new technology, the list of available materials are limited. Most materials are only made up of plastics which is not suitable for other applications that require high strength. Though there are possible materials that can be incorporated in the future, it's still in the development stage and currently cannot be commercialized.
3D Printing Machines are expensive compared to the traditional manufacturing machines. It can cost you thousands of dollars or higher depending on machine size and functionality. Also, the cost of running these machines can be higher as well.
As 3D printing is getting more accessible, counterfeiting is inevitable. Anyone who has access can copy or create 3D models. Then, eventually reproduce without a patent. This results in infringement and problems with the original patent holders.
There are people who make use of 3D printing technology in the creation of dangerous items for their advantage. Since you can create any objects, the creation of guns, knives and other weaponry is also possible. This is alarming since there’s no way of tracing them.
Another downside of 3D printing is post processing. Every item is different and others need certain post processing in order to achieve the final product. This can be assembling big parts or even smoothing surfaces. As 3D printing technology is fast in production, post processing may slow down the overall development.
Drawback of this additive manufacturing is part structure. 3D printing technology creates layers to form an object; however, it is possible that those layers can be broken. This affects the form’s solidity and decreases the quality of the finished product.
Just like any other technologies, 3D printing technology has its pros and cons. Proper understanding of these is beneficial if you want to start in 3D printing. This is to reduce risk and to make it more efficient. Regardless, it still continues to grow as people are seeing the potential. Making its way to the future of development.
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