Between enabling profound new designs and upending the traditional supply chain, the unlimited potential with metal 3D printing will transform the manufacturing landscape. Indeed, the transformation has already begun. But, getting metal AM into production is taking a lot longer than many media pundits predicted. It’s even progressing much slower than many “in-the-know” industry insiders expected.
Why is mass adoption so slow with metal 3D printing, especially in production? It really boils down to one word: economics. If the economics work, the application moves forward into production. If not, it’s dead on arrival. The numbers need to work because when it comes to production competitive manufacturing, technologies come into play. Customers start to say things like, “Well, if I make a couple of modifications to the design I can use CNC machining or metal injection molding and save a huge amount on the production cost.”