Over the past three decades, 3D printing has developed a reputation as an essential manufacturing process for prototype parts. Create a CAD model of your design, send it to your company’s printer, and a 3D replica will be ready in hours. Yet these parts are often little more than conceptual show-and-tell models, not durable enough for long-term use, and in some cases prone to degradation by sunlight.
The winds of manufacturing are beginning to shift, however, and industrial-grade 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is now encroaching on machining, injection molding, and other conventional manufacturing processes. This white paper explores the new and existing technology leaders in this area, and assesses the capabilities of production for each 3D printing process.