What is the Difference between Metal 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping?

3d printing is a process that takes a 3d model and makes it into a real object. During this procedure, the material is constructed utilizing a nozzle, print head, or some other printing technology. Rapid prototyping is an application utilized in additive manufacturing to form a model quicker than the regular process. It is mainly done with the help of additive manufacturing tools or 3d printing. Both metal 3d printing rapid prototyping are two identical terms that are utilized in various industries. Here are some differences between these two terms:


There’s a considerable difference between the price of rapid prototyping and 3d printing; from materials to be utilized, system maintenance, labor, machine depreciation, etc. Rapid prototyping can cost you two times the cost of 3d printing. A 3d printer can cost you around a few thousand dollars/year for maintenance alone. However, it is inexpensive when compared to rapid prototyping system maintenance [$10,000/year].

Printing method complexity

Utilizing 3d printing needs minimal or less training depending on the intricacy of the supporting structures and components needed when compared to utilizing rapid prototyping machines. When it comes to the latter, parameters are not easy to adjust.

You can produce parts easily with 3d printing depending on the requisite component accuracy. The higher the precision the longer it takes to print it. Making 3d drawings is the only drawback for 3d printing, however, once the drawing is produced it is much cheaper to produce parts and repeat it again.

Material choices

Rapid prototyping systems offer a wide variety of material alternatives. Though the list of materials is advancing as far as 3d printing is concerned, it is not yet as readily accessible as rapid prototyping. Metal 3d printing rapid prototyping is restricted to plastic materials and PVC. However, with technological advancements, materials like ceramics might be fully accessible sooner or later.


Whether you wish to use 3d printing rapid prototyping, both these technologies can really benefit your business. It can bring the best prospects for product development.


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