Harnessing the power of 3D metal printing in manufacturing

The commercial success of affordable, three dimensional (3D) printed plastic products and parts for science, industry and medicine has spurred similar innovations in 3D metal printing. Already, early adopters in manufacturing are using 3D metal printers to create everything from prototypes of jet engine fuel nozzles to customized medical parts, and personalized home faucets.

To be sure, the processes and materials for 3D printing will require further research and testing before we see broad commercialization. However, as manufacturers look to future opportunities for growth, it is helpful now to understand the technologies, opportunities, risks and costs associated this approach brings.

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