We should start with some definitions: 3D printing, less commonly known as additive manufacturing, is a process to make things in layers using plastic, metal or resin.
Those who immerse themselves in the technology believe it has the potential to turn manufacturing on its head because it plays havoc with the traditional supply chain, shortens product development and removes costs.
Even with all its change-the-world promise, 3D printing still needs to clean up some problems, namely the process is slow, expensive and has a steep learning curve.
Those obstacles are already being addressed if not hurdled in the near term. For example, HP’s 3D printers use thermal inkjet arrays and multiple liquid agents in a process called Multi Jet Fusion, said to be 10 times faster than today’s standard machines. And Carbon’s speedy Continuous Liquid Interface Production 3D printing technology is referred to by some as a game changer.
Read more (This one requires registration)