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3D Printing: Will It Replace Traditional Manufacturing?

As futuristic as “3D Printing” sounds, it was actually invented in 1984 and has been used widely for more than a decade. The technology continues to gain acceptance among engineers and is finding its way into many manufacturing sectors.

3D Printing is even inspiring many to ask if it will eventually take the place of traditional manufacturing.

3D Key on Keyboard

Source: Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The cost is dropping

Remember when it was less expensive to remodel your entire living room than to buy a flat screen television? Well, your local big box store has some great deals this Christmas season. 3D Printing isn’t the cheapest option, but it is following a similar trajectory when it comes to price.

So is it replacing traditional manufacturing?

Most experts agree that 3D Printing will not replace manufacturing methods altogether. The technology can be used to enhance countless processes, and its usefulness in modeling is undeniable, but it can’t do everything.

The materials used for this process are limited. We talk a lot about using the right material for the application on this blog and 3D Printers simply cannot use any material you want. In many cases, it’s still much faster to reproduce parts using a mold process once a final product is developed. 3D Printed parts still aren’t being cranked out at a rapid rate.

3D Printer at home

While replacing traditional manufacturing processes seems unlikely, the plummeting cost and improved usability may someday land one of these machines right next to your desktop printer at home, and that could dramatically change the way we consume retail items.

Imagine ”printing” your next cell phone case or toy for your little one. It’s not an outlandish idea anymore.

Custom precision machining, rapid prototyping and putting your best designs on the fast track toward the marketplace are just a few of the services offered at Product Development Solutions. Let us show you how profitable this partnership can be.

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