3D printers for the manufacturing market
3D printers for the manufacturing market are classified by four segments. The major segment, for producing usable parts, is Additive MANUFACTURING. The Auxiliary segment is for parts that support an industrial process like investment casting or sand casting and Prototype and entry level are for Individual parts with limited functionality.
For mass production (shot series), the only technology available today is powder bed. SLS for plastic and SLA and EBM for metal. No other technology can match powder when it come to the number of parts per job, the quality and the mechanical properties of the printed parts.
The next map describe some of the limitation when bring the 3D printing technology to the demanding manufacturing market.
The best way to success with 3D printing is to adjust the design to the technology and to find the unique leverage that additive manufacturing can give over the traditional technologies for each project.
Polymers are the most common material when it come to 3D printing but, the selection between types of polymers is very limited.