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Limits of Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing

By Unblocked Hub

August 3, 2022



While Additive Manufacturing technologies offer critical advantages, traditional manufacturing processes, the limitations of processes that prevent their inherent existence, are a panacea for every manufacturing problem. In current arrangements, Additive Manufacturing operations are limited in mass. On average, Additive Manufacturing processes can create a 1.5-inch cube in about an hour. An injection molding machine makes several similar parts in less than a minute.


Processes will continue to accelerate in Additive Manufacturing, but technology that can create parts as quickly as molding is unlikely. The fundamental bottleneck lies in the physics of processes, where scanning with a laser is not possible (hardening the material and re-coating each layer) at a speed comparable to injection molding. However, this limitation only applies to production. Additive Manufacturing is the process of choice or required for low-volume production runs, as the mold to be created for each unique part you want to inject is custom parts when tooling is required from several thousand common parts.


Also, production is centralized, then “mass production” can be done by hundreds of thousands of a particular product, producing thousands on a hundred printers nearby, not in one place but by opening hundreds of thousands of factories producing the same product worldwide depending on the source of demand. Also, the same printers that produce thousands of each item can be instantly reprogrammed to produce different products as requested. Another sign that Additive Manufacturing is in the “Apple I phase” is better materials to be used in printing and greater uniformity of production quality.


Most Additive Manufacturing processes use poorly characterized and weaker polymers. It is more constrained and metallurgically weak than its conventionally produced counterparts. Also, in some Additive Manufacturing processes, part strength is not uniform. Therefore, in the layer-by-layer manufacturing process, parts are generally weaker in the structure direction. Finally, Additive Manufacturing process repeatability needs to be improved; Parts made on different machines can often have varying specifications.




With the return of mass production, the consumption cycle has shortened, and the use of natural resources has reached serious dimensions. The fact that the methods used in the product design process are costly, have a high margin of error, and are far from sustainability has laid the groundwork for alternative manufacturing systems. The development of technology day by day has created a new revolution in the industry and has revealed Industry 4.0, an industrial system in which smart software and autonomous robots work integrated.


The use of additive manufacturing methods has become widespread in the production systems that emerged with Industry 4.0. The Place and Usage Areas of Additive Manufacturing Systems in Modern Production Techniques can perform all the stages of prototyping, mold making, and final product creation, which are applied in the production process with additive manufacturing methods, computer-aided 3D printing system. The designed parts, which are prepared in the computer environment thanks to 3D printers, are created with a production technique suitable for their functions.


As mentioned in the previous sections, there are different techniques for the application, but as the most commonly used printing techniques, Stereolithography (SLA), Melting Stacking Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLE), Electron Beam Melting (EBM) methods appear. By using these methods, production improvement studies are carried out in many different sectors of production.


The volume occupied by the sectors in the global market, which emerged from concepts such as living, shelter, nutrition, and clothing, which are the basic needs of individuals, is at a level that cannot be underestimated. It is predicted that the fashion element will increasingly use this different production method. The use of 3D production technologies is becoming more common day by day, especially in the production of prototypes, collection works, and auxiliary materials and accessories used in clothes, especially in the design of accessories and clothes.


The use of additive manufacturing systems in the health, construction, food, and clothing sectors brings with it an improvement in the quality of life of individuals. 3D printers that offer customizable products, in the field of health, have provided the production of parts supporting vital activities such as medical and dental implant production, artificial organ and living tissue printing. 3D printing technology has been used in the food industry to minimize the waste of raw materials.


Thanks to this technology, it is aimed to improve the environment in many ways by reducing the environmental pollution caused by the food industry, which has a large market volume. In the construction sector, where additive manufacturing methods are developing, 3D printing devices have been used in building production to eliminate the disadvantages of the basic elements in the formation of architectural structures. Buildings can be produced to meet the sheltering needs of countries that have housing shortages, as a result of events such as war and disaster.


The fact that the structures created using old manufacturing methods are completed in a long time by requiring high labor force increases the production costs. Thanks to this technology, low-cost areas will be created in a short time, and the accommodation needs of individuals will be met. With a sustainable approach of 3D printing technologies, it aims to minimize the use of raw materials in production and consumption in the field of clothing. With modern production methods, a new understanding of manufacturing that connects people, objects, and systems will be adopted in all sectors in the future.


The application of additive production methods with new materials and methods in different fields will ensure the renewal of world resources. The historical journey of the 3D printer, which is the beginning of the production technology of the future, will evolve into new technologies with academic studies and pioneering applications.