The days of using traditional printing are almost behind us. 3D printing has grown tremendously in the last few years, and it is evident that it will soon be the standard. Here are five main benefits of 3D printing that are accelerating its growth.

Fast production

A process that took days and weeks to complete can now take a few hours. In traditional printing, one has to come up with an initial design, and then proceed to experiment until perfection is desired. Developing and planning a prototype takes days as it needs a lot of revision. However, with 3D printing, one can get their design the next day after the first build.

Less costly

In traditional manufacture and industrial printing, a lot of human labour is required. One day there is a production run, the other there is an injection mould. All these working hours translate to rising costs. This doesn’t even account for the expertise required in employees handling complex machines. With 3D printing, one employee can do all the work.

Flexibility

Conventional printing methods require older technology that limits the number of shapes that can be produced. Mould and cutting technologies may have been visionary at some point in history, but they aren’t anymore. 3D printing will let the user generate an infinite number of shapes that are well suited to current needs. Simply, it has opened up more opportunities than ever before.

Less risky

One major disadvantage of traditional printing is that you can only test the product once it’s been created. It isn’t possible to pinpoint mistakes in the beginning, and often you identify them when it’s too late. With 3D printing software and STL editing applications, you can allow for the verification of prototypes at the beginning of the process, which significantly reduces the likelihood of mistakes.

Environmentally sound

Conventional printers waste a lot of resources as there’s a lot of cutting and moulding – any excess material used to create the prototype is simply thrown out. Fortunately, 3D printing reduces waste as most of the time the exact material required to create the prototype is used – there’s very little excess waste.

Photo: 3D Printer by its-izzy licensed under Creative Commons 4.0