Unveiling the Benefits: Top 10 Reasons to Embrace 3D Printing


Today, many companies in the manufacturing industry still use traditional production methods. That being said, what is known as the fourth industrial revolution is becoming more and more of a reality, leading to the adoption of new methods of creation and manufacturing. These innovative advances in Industry 4.0 include artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, big data and 3D printing. The latter has had a significant impact on the manufacturing processes of many industries, and is set for much greater growth in the coming years. To ensure that these organizations aren’t left behind and can make the leap into new technologies, and additive manufacturing in particular, we’re bringing you a new editorial format today. In this article, we’ve listed no fewer than 10 reasons why a user or company should consider adopting 3D printing into their business.

#1: Waste reduction

Additive manufacturing, as the name suggests, produces a part by adding material, layer by layer. It therefore uses only the material required. Unlike subtractive production methods, which waste large quantities of raw materials, the use of 3D printing significantly reduces waste. This is good for the environment, because no materials are thrown away unnecessarily. And if we go a step further, in powder-bed processes, unsintered or fused materials can be reused in future prints, provided they are mixed with new powder (depending on the technology, the recycling rate will be higher or lower). Additionally, Plastic objects can often be recycled into 3D-printable filaments or granules to create new parts. This is a key reason for many industrials to adopt 3D printing into their activities.

A Wide Variety of Technologies and Materials

The expansive realm of additive manufacturing bristles with a variety of technologies and compatible materials. Seven distinct families of 3D printing technologies exist, each embracing diverse methods. This extends from extrusion processes to resin, powder bed, or material jet systems. These technologies can work with a broad spectrum of materials, including polymers, metals, ceramics, and more. Furthermore, the adaptability of 3D printing allows for the creation of structures from remarkable materials such as concrete, food, wood, or even stem cells.

Freedom of Design

One more incentive for adopting 3D printing is its exceptional design flexibility. This process makes it feasible to create parts with intricate shapes that would be unachievable with alternative production systems, or at least not under the same constraints. Certain technologies facilitate this through the use of print supports, while others, like those based on a powder bed, utilize the powder itself as support. If you’ve heard of the acronym DfAM (Design for Additive Manufacturing), it refers to the suite of tools at your disposal for creating 3D printable models, regardless of their complexity. All these factors enable the creation of unique parts, detailed with precision, surprising geometries (including some with internal cavities), all in a single process and without the need for assembly.


With relation to the aforementioned, additive manufacturing presents copious customization potential, including mass customization. Being an exceptionally flexible technology, it allows individuals to modify basic designs or models as per their preferences. One such industry that greatly profits from this feature is consumer goods, where the consumer partakes in the formulation of the final product according to his/her tastes. This component is also significant in the medical field, where the use of 3D printing is on an upswing, be it for making pharmaceutical items or medical devices designed to seamlessly align with the patient’s anatomy.


When it comes to investing in a 3D printer, many companies are primarily interested in costs, profitability and return on investment (ROI). This involves a series of cost calculations to find out how much you can save by investing in a 3D printer. It is also possible to gauge the number of parts one can make and, as a result, the payback period of the initial investment. However, if the requirement is to create a unique model, like a spare part, using 3D printing through a manufacturing service is a viable and cost-effective option. By availing this service, you incur a one-time cost for the part, which is generally not very high. Therefore, this technology is especially appealing for prototyping and small batch production.

Rapid Production

3D printing might not be the fastest manufacturing method available, but it has the potential to significantly reduce production times, a major factor which could prompt users to consider adopting one or more of these technologies. The speed of the process is dependent on a multitude of factors, such as the particular technology used, the post-processing that is required, the set parameters, and the complexity of the design, among others. However, it promotes local, centralized manufacturing, mitigating the need to produce parts at different locations and then dispatch them. This results in a shorter lead time from the point when the part is conceptualized to the point where it reaches the user.

Strong, Lightweight parts

Certain materials compatible with 3D printing can be used to create high-performance parts for the most demanding industries. If they are also reinforced with fibers, much greater strength and robustness can be achieved. When these materials are combined with topological optimization or generative design tools, it is possible to obtain lighter parts without affecting the characteristics of the model. Thanks to such software, it is possible to identify the most important areas of a model and reduce all those that do not affect its basic structure. In this way, the mechanical properties of the part are maintained, but with less material.

Entry Price/Accessibility

The range of different technologies mentioned above means that the price of entry varies considerably. Clearly, the most advanced professional manufacturing systems, and the use of materials such as metals or high-performance polymers, tend to be very expensive. However, for those new to the technology, price need not be a constraint. Some FDM and resin 3D printers are available today for less than $200, and this price can be even lower if the machine is delivered as a DIY kit. Moreover, as mentioned above, many 3D printing services are available for those who are not yet ready to invest in their own equipment and wish to enjoy the benefits of additive manufacturing.

Prototyping/Rapid Iterations

Although now primarily used to create end-use parts, additive manufacturing was initially introduced for rapid prototyping. This approach significantly reduces lead times by facilitating in-house prototype production. Moreover, it allows several versions of the same part to be generated, making it easier to identify the optimal design, functionality, etc. This is particularly beneficial during a product development phase.

On-Demand 3D Printing

As previously stated, technology access can be achieved either by purchasing a machine or hiring a 3D printing service. In either instance, the ability to produce on-demand is a crucial factor since it enables you to acquire only the necessary parts or models. This eliminates the need for storage, as you only need to send your digital 3D model to the printer when required. In turn, this strategy supports local production, shortens lead times and fosters a more sustainable production model.

Photo Credits: Fiverr

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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