3D printing has the following advantages:
Advantage 1: Manufacturing complex items without increasing costs
In the case of conventional manufacturing, the more complex the shape of the object, the higher the manufacturing cost. For 3D printers, the cost of making complex-shaped items does not increase, and creating a gorgeous, complex-shaped item does not consume more time, skill, or cost than printing a simple square. Manufacturing complex items without increasing costs will break the traditional pricing model and change the way we calculate manufacturing costs.
Advantage 2: Product diversification does not increase costs
A 3D printer can print many shapes, and it can make different shapes of items every time like a craftsman. Traditional manufacturing equipment has fewer features and a limited variety of shapes. 3D printing eliminates the cost of training mechanics or purchasing new equipment. A 3D printer requires only a different digital design blueprint and a new batch of raw materials.
Advantage 3: no need to assemble
3D printing enables the components to be integrally formed. Traditional mass production is based on assembly lines where machines produce the same parts and are assembled by robots or workers (even across continents). The more components a product has, the more time and cost it takes to assemble. The 3D printer can print a door and the matching hinges at the same time through layered manufacturing without assembly. Omission of assembly shortens the supply chain and saves labor and transportation costs. The shorter the supply chain, the less pollution.
Advantage 4: Zero time delivery
The 3D printer can print on demand. Instant production reduces the physical inventory of the company. Companies can use 3D printers to create special or customized products to meet customer needs based on customer orders, so new business models will be possible. If people need goods to be produced on demand, zero-time delivery can minimize the cost of long-distance transportation.
Advantage 5: Unlimited design space
Traditional manufacturing techniques and products manufactured by artisans are limited in shape, and the ability to make shapes is subject to the tools used. For example, a conventional wooden lathe can only produce round items, a rolling mill can only process parts assembled with a milling cutter, and a molding machine can only produce a molded shape. 3D printers can break through these limitations, open up huge design space, and even make shapes that may only exist in nature.
Advantage 6: Zero Skill Manufacturing
Traditional craftsmen need a few years of apprenticeship to master the skills they need. Mass production and computer-controlled manufacturing machines reduce the skill requirements, whereas traditional manufacturing machines still require skilled professionals to make machine adjustments and calibrations. The 3D printer obtains various instructions from the design file and does the same complicated items. The 3D printer requires less operational skills than the injection molding machine. Unskilled manufacturing opens up new business models and provides new ways of production in remote environments or in extreme situations.
Advantage 7: no space, portable manufacturing
In terms of unit production space, 3D printers are more capable of manufacturing than traditional manufacturing machines. For example, an injection molding machine can only manufacture items that are much smaller than itself, and in contrast, a 3D printer can produce items as large as its printing station. After the 3D printer is debugged, the printing device can move freely, and the printer can make items larger than itself. The high capacity per unit of space makes 3D printers suitable for home or office use because they require less physical space.
Advantage 8: Reduce waste by-products
Compared to traditional metal fabrication techniques, 3D printers produce fewer by-products when manufacturing metal. The waste of traditional metal processing is staggering, and 90% of the metal raw materials are discarded in the factory floor. 3D printing reduces the amount of wasted metal. As printing materials advance, "net forming" manufacturing can become a more environmentally friendly process.
Advantage 9: Unlimited combination of materials
For today's manufacturing machines, combining different raw materials into a single product is difficult because traditional manufacturing machines cannot easily combine multiple raw materials during cutting or molding. With the development of multi-material 3D printing technology, we have the ability to combine different raw materials. Raw materials that were previously unmixed will form new materials that have a wide variety of tones and unique properties or functions.
Advantage 10: Accurate entity replication
Digital music files can be copied endlessly and the audio quality does not drop. In the future, 3D printing will extend digital precision to the physical world. Scanning technology and 3D printing technology will work together to improve the resolution of morphological transformations between the physical world and the digital world. We can scan, edit and copy solid objects, create accurate copies or optimize originals.