4 Advantages of 3D Printing, According to an Expert

When you think of manufacturing, a certain image may come to mind of American men and women — perhaps in grease-stained overalls — hard at work in factories. You can practically smell the sweat and burning steel. You can hear the hiss of steam valves, the roar of exhaust fans, and the clanking of tools. In contrast, 3D printing might seem more like something only hobbyists replicating miniatures and artists creating sculptures use. But today 3D printing is used across industry — for manufacturing parts for cars, constructing homes, and producing customized prosthetics. If traditional forms of manufacturing work, why are companies like Caterpillar, ExxonMobil, and Volkswagen turning to 3D printing? “When someone is looking at their new product or design, 3D printing is up there on the roster next to other traditional processes like machining or molding,” says Greg Paulsen, director of application engineering at Xometry, noting that increases in material options and surface finishing selections, as well as other recent improvements, have helped make 3D printing more mainstream. 

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