Technology Blog & News

Advantages and Disadvantages of 3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3d printing

3D printing is a new method for making three-dimensional objects from scratch. Originally, this process was intended to accelerate prototyping. The invention is typically attributed to Chuck Hull, whose Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) was patented in 1984. At the time, multiple technologies were being developed in parallel. Several companies were pivotal in the development of this technology. Hideo Kodama, for example, developed a UV light that would cure photopolymers and was intended for rapid prototyping. However, due to lack of interest, the process was abandoned.

Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is a process of manufacturing parts from scratch, usually from complex designs. It offers a variety of benefits over conventional manufacturing, including low production costs, flexibility, and customization. It also eliminates molds and tooling, giving the user full control over the manufacturing process. The process also includes post-processing operations, including trimming, cleaning, and finishing. The degree of geometric accuracy can affect the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of a product.

One example of a 3D-printed prosthetic implant is an iris implant, which is made using the images of volunteers’ irises. The prosthetic iris could help people who have lost their irises see better under varying light conditions. Additive manufacturing could be used to create prosthetic irises, allowing wearers to see better under all types of light.

3D printing has proven effective for prosthetic limbs. It is now possible to design and create customized prosthetics and surgical masks, and this technology is now making its way into the medical field. With this emerging technology, life-saving equipment is within reach. During the pandemic, the response from the medical community highlighted the potential of 3D printing in helping save lives.

A 3D printing process called SLA is the most popular type of additive manufacturing for 3d printing. This method produces 3D objects by polymerizing photosensitive resin, which forms a bond when exposed to light. The cured part then hardens layer by layer. This technique has several advantages, including speed and high resolution printing. However, the materials used in SLA are more limited than other types of additive manufacturing.

3D printing has the potential to create precise geometric shapes. Its accuracy is less understood, but this technology is demonstrating its potential. Demonstration projects and scaled models have shown that it is possible to print precise parts. The accuracy of net-shape geometry is still unknown, but many groups are now measuring printed components and identifying defects. Plastic deformation, staircase effect on the surface, and shrinkage can all affect the geometry of a 3D-printed part.

Formative manufacturing

In today’s world, selecting the right manufacturing technique can be tricky. Due to the rapid advancements in digital manufacturing, many designers may not realize the benefits of one process over another. To help you make the right decision, we’ll compare the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing and CNC machining. Formative manufacturing is best suited for high volume production of the same type of part. While it requires a high initial investment in tools, it can create complex parts at a very low cost per unit.

3D printing is best suited for small and mid-scale production runs. However, subtractive manufacturing is a more cost-effective choice for production runs larger than 10000 equivalent parts. For parts that need to be unique, additive manufacturing is better. Smaller parts may be better produced with 3D printing, while larger parts may be better made with subtractive manufacturing.

The downsides of 3D printing are that the parts produced by it are not as robust as those created by subtractive methods. Since 3D printed parts do not have the same mechanical properties as their subtractive counterparts, these products can vary widely. There’s also the issue of consistency, as the printing process is subject to varying curing conditions. If the material is not stable, the parts will not have the desired shape.

3D printing is a formative manufacturing process in which a 3D model is used to print a physical object. It is similar to the process of making icing flowers on a cake. The process requires adding layer upon layer of material. The material that is printed is a little more complicated than icing flowers.


In order to maximize the benefits of photopolymerization for 3d printing, you need to determine the right amount of exposure time and energy for a given material. In addition, you should know the curing properties of the material you are using. These properties are dependent on the amount of exposure energy and the depth of penetration. The more energy you use, the thicker the cured layer will be.

Photopolymerization in 3d printing is one of the most commonly used processes in 3D printing. This technology makes it possible to print unique materials, geometry, and functional properties. While this process is not yet a mainstream manufacturing platform, it has helped advance 3D printing to an advanced level. In contrast to traditional 3D printing techniques, photopolymerization relies on the use of polymer chemistry to control the spatial distribution of material phases. It is also possible to control the material’s functional and morphological properties by judicious choice of photoresin components.

Photopolymerization in 3d printing is a process that uses UV light to cure a liquid photopolymer resin layer by layer. Vat photopolymerization creates parts with great surface finishes. It starts by dipping a build platform into a vat of photopolymer resin. The UV light causes the photopolymer molecules to bond together and harden, creating a solid part. When the process is complete, the part is removed from the vat and the resin is drained.

Photopolymerization in 3d printing is an exciting area of research and development. It has opened up new fields for 3D printing while allowing designers to make intricate parts without the need for molds. It is also an extremely versatile process and affords product teams the flexibility to customize their designs.

Another advantage of photopolymers is their fine detail and realism. They simulate the aesthetics of the end-product and require minimal finishing, allowing manufacturers to produce aesthetic parts in a fast time frame. Photopolymers can be either clear or opaque, rigid or flexible, and can be specially formulated to suit a variety of applications.

Materials used

There are many types of materials used for 3D printing. Some of the most popular materials are metals and plastics, while others are less common. Metal filaments, for example, produce flexible and tough prints that are ideal for making phone covers and wristwatches. Wood filaments, on the other hand, are made from wood powder mixed with polymer glue and are useful for making wooden objects.

ABS plastic is one of the most common materials used in 3D printing. This plastic is used for many common objects and is commonly available in a variety of colors. ABS can be treated with acetone vapor to create a glossy finish. However, ABS is susceptible to shrinkage during 3D printing, and it is not recommended for printing large objects.

Nitinol, which is often used in medical implants, is a good material for 3D printing. Made from a combination of titanium and nickel, nitinol can bend to a great extent without breaking. It can also be folded in half and returned to its original shape. As a result, this material can produce parts that would otherwise be impossible with traditional manufacturing techniques.

Metal dust is another common material used in 3D printing. While metal dust is most commonly used for prototyping metal instruments, it has also been used to produce finished marketable products. Powderized metal has even been used to create medical devices. A major benefit of using metal powder in 3D printing is that it allows a small number of parts to be used in a final product. In fact, some of the most impressive 3D printed products use just two pieces, whereas traditional welding requires hundreds or even thousands of individual pieces.

Another type of material used in 3D printing is carbon fiber. This material is made of tiny fibers which enhance the properties of the base material. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, so it makes 3D printed parts lighter than they would be otherwise. It has a wide range of uses in industries, from tooling to automotive components.

Materials used in 3D printing vary greatly in cost and quality. Some materials are relatively inexpensive, while others are more expensive. The main drawback is that these materials tend to degrade over time.


Check out our monthly newsletter and subscribe to your topics!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Ready to get started, Get our Newsletter and join the Community!

Technology Articles & News

Other Technology articles that may be of interest