3D Printing vs Traditional Manufacturing: Comparison

Comparison between 3D Printing and Traditional manufacturing

What is the difference between 3D printing and traditional manufacturing? Will 3D printing replace traditional manufacturing? These are some commonly asked questions in the world of designing and manufacturing. Although there are no exact answers to these questions, a comparison between the two will help you make your own conclusions regarding this debate.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing is a technology in which 3D models are printed from CAD or digital models. 3D printers are used for this process and the structures are made by placing the material layer-by-layer to achieve the final object. Traditional manufacturing involves established manufacturing procedures including grinding, drilling, casting into moulds and more.

Advantages of 3D printing over Traditional manufacturing

3D printing was initially developed to be a rapid prototyping process but then grew to become a true manufacturing method. Generation 3D helps uses this technology to help industries spanning from architecture and interior design to fashion and automobiles to make 3D models and 3D printed objects in a very cost-effective and timely manner. The following are some of the advantages of 3D printing:

1.Complex designs can be built at no additional cost: Since the 3D printing methodology involves printing an object directly from a digital model, the complexity of the design does not become a cause of concern. Traditional manufacturing involves manual labour and hence complexity of the design could pose a problem.

2. Faster manufacturing: The objects once designed are then printed out using a 3D printer. This makes the involvement of manual labour minimal and hence ramps up the whole manufacturing time.

3.Less wastage of material: 3D manufacturing involves depositing material layer-by-layer, as opposed to traditional manufacturing processes that involves cutting out requisite material from a larger block. This leads to more wastage.

4.Can combine manufacturing and assembly of structures: Since 3D printing directly involves depositing material and creating the required structure, there is no need for different steps for manufacturing and assembly as seen in traditional manufacturing.

5.Ideal for creating customized objects: Design flexibility is great in 3D printing. Traditional or conventional manufacturing methods are more suited for mass production due to steps like tooling, molding, casting costs and overall limitation in design flexibility. This also makes 3D printing suitable for low-mass production.

6. Equipment requirement: While traditional methods require various different machines for tooling, molding, casting, etc., all of these is done with a 3D printer.

7.Low labour requirement: Since most of the manufacturing work can be done using a 3D printing from 3D designing to creation of the structure or 3D model making, the labour requirement is low. This is not the case with traditional manufacturing methods since a large portion of the work requires manual labour.

Disadvantages of 3D printing over traditional manufacturing

Traditional manufacturing is mainly subtractive, which means that an object is machined or removed from a larger block of material. This is a more established process of manufacturing and holds some benefits over 3D printing. The following explain these:

1.Best suited for mass production:While 3D printing has an upper hand when it comes to design flexibility, cost, speed, and production of low-volume or customized objects traditional manufacturing is better suited for mass production. The conventional methods involve molding, forming, machining and joining, and this is best suited for mass production.

2.Wider material selection: Conventional methods offer wider material range selection over 3D printing

3.Batch quality checks: This is easily possible with traditional manufacturing methods but difficult with 3D printing

3D printing is changing the way manufacturing is done in all kinds of industries as it is more cost-effective, gives results in lesser time and has design freedom. At Generation 3D, we are passionate about 3D designing, 3D architecture modeling and 3D printing, with a team of design experts who strive to create the most optimize designs for our customers. Our expertise and passion in the field make us the best 3D model making company in Dubai and the best 3D printing company in Dubai.