One of the main advantages of additive manufacture is the speed at which parts can be produced compared to traditional manufacturing methods.
Single step manufacture
One of the biggest concerns for a designer is how to manufacture a part as efficiently as possible.
The cost of manufacture can be broken down into 3 categories; machine operation costs, material cost and labor costs.
Ordering a faulty prototype costs the designer time and money. Even small changes in a mold or fabrication method may have a large financial impact.
Complexity and design freedom
Since components are constructed one layer at a time, design requirements such as draft angles, undercuts and tool access do not apply, when designing parts to be 3D printed.
Not only does 3D printing allow more design freedom, it also allows complete customization of designs.
Ease of access
While additive manufacturing has been around for more than 30 years, the majority of growth has occurred since 2010.
Subtractive manufacturing methods, such as CNC milling or turning, remove a significant amount of material from an initial block, resulting in high volumes of waste material.