Contrary to widespread assumption, 3d printing is successfully used to create final and functional products.
Our analysis shows that it is usually more profitable to choose 3d printing in low-volume productions. Specifically, if the production is not planned for more than 2 000 pcs / batch. The cases we have been studying showed that this is often the limit when tooling becomes profitable.
A few examples of cases that 3d printing should be taken into consideration:
1. Complicated shapes/structures.
As long as the project meets the technology standards (such as wall thickness and correct size) the shapes are not as limited as in other technologies.
2. Customized products.
3d printing allows you to produce customized products easily. This method requires no tooling, so products can be modified whenever it's needed.
If you are planning to produce small batches, it is possible that 3d printing is the right choice as it requires no tooling.
4. Small, detailed objects.
It is difficult to perform CNC machining on detailed and small objects. 3d printing is a good alternative as it has no issues with those kinds of shaping.