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On the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing technology

Illustration for article titled On the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing technologyem/em

Advantages of 3D Printing technology

(1) Save material.

Eliminate scrap, improve the utilization of materials, by eliminating the production line and reduce costs;

(2) can produce the CNC cannot process the product

can achieve high precision and a high degree of complexity, can be produced by the traditional method is not provided, very complex workpiece;

(3) A three-dimensional model can produce products

Without the need for traditional tools, fixtures, machine tools or any mold, you can direct the computer of any shape of the three-dimensional CAD graphics to produce physical products;

(4) Rapid production of products

It can automatically, quickly, directly and more accurately into the computer’s three-dimensional design into a physical model, or even directly manufacturing parts or molds, thus effectively shorten the product development cycle;

(5) Start-up production at any time

3D printing without a centralized, fixed manufacturing workshop, with the characteristics of distributed production;

(6) Short molding time

3D printing can take shape within hours, enabling designers and developers to leap from floor plans to entities. Check this info for details.


(7) Can be integrated printing assembly parts

It can print out assembled products, so it dramatically reduces assembly costs and can even challenge large-scale production methods.


Disadvantages of 3D printing technology


(1) compared with traditional CNC machining: 3D printing faster, but the product surface, strength, and other differences

3D printed products compared with conventional CNC machining: In the cover, power and different variations, the key depends on the customer’s needs and product use environment. Traditional CNC machining products, requiring engineers to program, and then machine milling processing, time-consuming, and must be related to the technical personnel to operate.


The finished product surface is good, the strength is guaranteed.

At present, only with the printing technology and traditional CNC cutting manufacturing cooperation, to make our products more convenient, the cost will be reduced, to meet customer demand.


(2) compared with injection molding:

high price, long working hours, poor strength Since 3D printing technology has the advantages of distributed production, on the contrary, there is no advantage in large-scale production.


At present, 3D printing technology does not have the replacement of traditional manufacturing conditions, in large-scale manufacturing, such as high-efficiency, low-cost conventional injection molding manufacturing method is better. Now it seems unlikely to replace mass production with 3D printing as a production method.

And not to mention that 3D printing technology does not yet have the direct production of complex hybrid materials such as automobiles, even if the technology in the future to make great strides, it will take months to fully print a car, the cost is much higher than the large-scale production of cars when the value of each vehicle.


Therefore, for the production of a large number of rigid demand for products, the scale of economic advantages of large-scale production is still more than the emphasis on “personalized, customized” 3D printing production mode more economical.

(3) Limited printing material The limitations and bottlenecks of 3D printing technology are mainly embodied in the article.

At present, the printing material is mainly plastic, resin, gypsum, ceramics, sand, and metal, etc., can be used for 3D printing materials are very limited. Although many homogeneous and heterogeneous materials have been developed for 3D printing, there is still a need for new materials to be prepared.


This requirement consists of two levels, one that requires in-depth study of the material-process-structure-characteristic relationship that has been applied to clarify its merits and limitations, and the need to develop new test processes and methods to extend the range of available materials.

(4) Accuracy and quality issues

Due to the inherent forming principle and development of 3D printing technology, the precision of the printed molding parts (including dimensional accuracy, shape accuracy and surface roughness), physical properties (such as strength, stiffness, fatigue resistance, etc.) and chemical properties cannot meet the practical requirements of the engineering, and can not be used as functional parts,


Only prototype parts can be used, so their application will be significantly compromised. Moreover, as 3D printing using “layered manufacturing, layer overlay” of the additive manufacturing process, the combination of layer and layer is close, and can not be compared with the traditional mold integrally molded parts, and the microstructure and structure of the parts material determine the use of the part performance.

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