3D Printing Is Unique
Machining typically involves material removal. A block of material, whether it is wood, steel, or a type of metal, is drilled, sawed, and cut to remove material into a certain shape. A drill bit or saw can only cut the material out in a certain way. Some 3D models used for manufacturing have very intricate centers. 3D printing is great for these models, but machining typically isn't. If there is a model inside of a model, machining methods typically can't even touch it! However, 3D printing can.
Mold manufacturing also has a difficult time producing some parts that 3D printing can produce. Due to the intricate centers, and 'floating' pieces capable of being produced through 3D printing, mold manufacturing can't keep up!
3D printing simply blows other forms of manufacturing out of the water when it comes down to design parameters. Sure, there are advantages for each style of manufacturing. Sometimes machining is more cost effective in some scenarios. Mold manufacturing is much easier for mass producing products. However, when it comes down to truly unique, highly detailed parts which have demanding design parameters, 3D printing typically takes the cake.
3D printing is great for very custom products, just like machining is. Having an intricate design isn't the only advantage when it comes down to producing parts. There are quite a few more materials offered in 3D printing than in machining in many instances. Just the Objet line of materials offers over 100! There are tons of materials to choose from at the various service companies. This is great for very unique situations.
For example: I recently saw an article about a little girl who was born with a series of defects. This girls arms were too weak to move by themselves, so a doctors and engineers worked to help. A prosthetic piece was built around her body and arms which helped her to move her upper body. These parts were made through 3D printing, machining a piece would have been too heavy - she only weighed 25 pounds at the time. This is just one instance in which 3D printing saves the day for an individual.
3D printing offers a variety of solutions in a wide array of industries. The medical world is receiving quite a bit of help from this technology, and will continue to see more. Many prototypes are developed from 3D printing first before being mass produced. Architects & designers are using this technology to present ideas. Concept development is definitely taking a liking to this technology as well. There are quite a few applications that this technology can jump into, and we are only seeing the start!
Collectively, the effect of Products on industrial society has been to eliminate 3d printing service and drastically reduce the time long associated with 3d printing service.
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