Costs of 3D Printing

An economically attractive alternative to traditional manufacturing

  • Learn how to evaluate the cost structure of production processes
  • Understand the impact of production volume, product lifecycle and consequential costs
  • Take away key-learnings supported by numbers from the industries

Is 3D printing an economically attractive alternative?

When debating the benefits of 3D printing (or additive manufacturing), enthusiasts will point to its huge potential to simplify and optimize value-added processes. Some years ago, for example, The Economist even referred to 3D printing as the “4th industrial revolution” (The economist, Apr 21st, 2012 edition).

By contrast, sceptics are not convinced that 3D printing will ever become an effective alternative to traditional manufacturing methods and will therefore remain, at best, just a niche technology for special applications.

Both lines of argument have their merits. Although 3D printing has become an established technology for industrial applications it is still not an universal solution for any manufacturing challenge. Characteristics of a part, its complexity and other factors such as demand play a huge role when deciding for or against 3D printing.

In this white paper, we’ll start by analyzing the generic cost structures of manufacturing processes. Based on this, we’ll compare traditional manufacturing to 3D printing in different common scenarios, namely volume, product lifecycle and consequential costs. We will guide you through the costs of 3D printing with important key-take aways, use cases and numbers from the industry. A final summary will help you decide when to use which technology.

Get the whitepaper.