Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a growing and continuously thriving technology. Today, it is not merely used in research, development, and prototyping, as many industries and enterprises find it useful for their production lines. 3D printing makes it possible for them to create, develop, and introduce concepts that were previously impossible, challenging, or costly to attain.
Many OEMs and large, successful organizations embrace additive manufacturing to fulfill their strictest performance requirements and standards. New applications continue to enter the scene as more organizations use 3D printing in product design and to supplement conventional manufacturing practices.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is widely used to build robust end-use parts and rapid prototypes. Some technologies make it useful for crafting functional models, aesthetic prototypes, master patterns or models, and low-volume production parts with complex geometries. We can understand and identify the applications of 3D printing by exploring its uses in the following industries:
Additive manufacturing solutions enable breakthroughs in the medical industry, specifically to research institutions, specialists, and patients. Medical manufacturers use various biocompatible and high-strength 3D printing materials to build practical prototypes, realistic anatomical models, surgical-grade components, life-saving devices, orthopedic implants, dental devices, enclosures, and other products.
The aerospace industry is among the earliest to adopt additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Engineers designing military and commercial aerospace solutions use the technology to ensure flight-worthy, safe, high-performing components and materials for environmental control systems, combustor liners, oil and fuel tanks, custom cosmetic interior components, and UAV elements. 3D printing enables material efficiency, weight reduction, low-volume production, and part consolidation for the industry.
Automotive designers and manufacturers require durable, lightweight, reliable, and heavy-duty parts that can withstand extreme temperatures and speeds. Some of their designs involve complex geometries, which may be challenging to make with traditional manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing can fulfill their requirements in producing lightweight and consolidated components to build efficient vehicles.
These are just some of the industries and applications of 3D printing. Undoubtedly, additive manufacturing helps overcome unique complexities and obstacles, giving it more potential in other areas like robotics, consumer products, electronics, and energy.