3D Printing and its Misconceptions

Myths About 3D Printing

3D printing, like all fast-developing technologies has its share of misconceptions. People have made up their minds about the technology and no matter what, have no desire to change it. And so there have been persistent myths about 3D printing, four of them are the most common.

3D printing is slow and expensive.

Early 3D printing was painfully slow, equipment and materials were expensive, and the trial-and-error phase was tedious. Back in 2015, some analysts say that 3D printers are still slow, inaccurate and generally only print one material at a time. But there are new techniques for 3D printing with printers that are cost-competitive, printing in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of units and making products in minutes, not hours. Many of the newest printers also use lower-price commodity materials, decreasing prices all together.

3D printers are limited to small products.

3D printers are not huge equipment by design, needing an airtight build chamber to function, so are no larger than a copy machine. Some say that plastic filaments used by the printers can’t make anything too sturdy, further limiting the size of printed objects. But some techniques work in the open air and can generate highly resilient pieces, from automobiles to jet fighters. A new method for building involves a roving “printer bot” that gradually adds fast-hardening materials to carry out the construction, such as a house.

3D printers only produce low quality products.

To come up with a good-looking product is the hardest part of 3D printing. When printing layer upon layer, one doesn’t get the nice smooth finish of conventional manufacturing. Back in 2015, the high post-printing costs were predicted to keep 3D printing from expanding beyond customized or highly complex parts. But some new additive techniques can generate a high-quality finish from the start, because they aren’t based on layering. The products are monolithic – they emerge smoothly from a vat of liquid. Other printer manufacturers are building automated hybrid systems that combine 3D-printed products with conventional finishing.

Real 3D Printing at its Best in Seattle

Our team at 3D Composites informs our clients upfront what to expect from great ideas for 3D printing. We render precise, high quality and aesthetically acceptable products to our customers’ satisfaction.