Top 3 Reasons to Use 3D Printing for Production Runs

The advantages of using additive manufacturing for end-use parts

By Megan Ray Nichols · April 13, 2017

The role of 3D printing for manufacturing has evolved over the last several years, with many companies opting to design end-use parts using additive processes. Businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of additive manufacturing processes for custom precision parts. The combination of speed, limited overhead and overall cost, and design flexibility are making 3D printing more practical than ever.

1. Reduced Costs

In traditional manufacturing processes, the more complicated or complex a part is, the more expensive it is likely to be. However, with additive manufacturing, complex pieces can actually be more efficient and less costly to produce.

The flexibility and adaptability of the additive manufacturing process also gives engineers and designers the ability to introduce new improvements and, as a result, increase the overall value of the finished product.

2. Production Speed and Lead Time

Production speed is another benefit of 3D printing. The luxury of producing parts on demand and on the fly is quite significant. It speeds up the initial prototyping phase, and additive manufacturing can be used in a pinch or when your traditional processes have failed.

And as more and more materials are introduced that are compatible with additive manufacturing processes, production speed will only increase.

3. Greater Efficiency

The actual process of producing parts on a daily basis will also see a benefit from additive manufacturing. Engineers can introduce design improvements, upgrades and new features as needed. The same is possible with traditional manufacturing, but the lead-time needed to produce brand new prototypes with upgraded features and renovated designs places a real limit on the creativity of designers.

Modern 3D printing also features a quicker time-to-market than traditional manufacturing processes. Shorter design times, increased quality control and the availability of raw materials all contribute to the overall efficiency of additive manufacturing.

Megan Ray Nichols is a freelance writer and the Editor of the Schooled by Science blog

Posted in Additive


About Xometry

Xometry is your one-stop shop for manufacturing on demand. Xometry works with 32% of Fortune 100 companies, offering 24/7 access to instant pricing, expected lead times and manufacturability feedback. Xometry’s nationwide network of 4,000+ partner manufacturing facilities guarantees consistently fast lead times across a broad array of capabilities, including CNC Machining, 3D Printing, Sheet Metal, Metal Stamping, Die Casting, Extrusion, Urethane Casting, and Injection Molding.

Featured Content

Pros and Cons of Shops, Service Bureaus, and Manufacturing Networks

Whether deciding between individual shops, service bureaus, or all-in-one manufacturing networks, here’s what to look for when deciding where to bring your parts.

Read on  

Our Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Across Your Product Development Cycle

While many companies claim to provide manufacturing on demand, very few come close to Xometry when it comes to truly delivering against scalable capacity of production-as-a-service, fast turns on quoting and production, and uncompromising high-quality products.

Read on  

The X-Tiles Video Series: Clear and Nickel-Plated 3D Prints, Pt. 3

Watch our video series, the X-Tiles, to help you distinguish between our 3D printing processes. In this release we're comparing nickel-plated prints and "clear" 3D printed parts to help you choose the best process for your project.

Read on