21+ Pros And Cons Of 3D Printing (Explained)

3D printing is the creation of a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design.

The term 3D printing is referred to a plethora of processes in which a constituent is precipitated or layered, solidified, or joined under computer control to create a three-dimensional article with constituents like liquids, plastics, or powder grains being fused together generally layer by layer.

The technology is widely used by engineers, manufacturers, academics, designers, hobbyists, and medical professionals for a huge range of applications.

It is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing in which a piece of metal or plastic is cut out or hollowed out with a milling machine. It enables us to manufacture complex shapes using fewer materials than the traditional manufacturing approach.

Advantages of 3D PrintingDisadvantages of 3D Printing
More AffordableLimited Materials
Faster ProductionRestricted Build Size
Better Quality of ObjectsPost Processing
Risk ReductionLarge Volumes
Freedom of Creative Designs & CustomizationPart Structure
Usage of Mixed Raw MaterialsReduction in Manufacturing Jobs

Advantages of 3D Printing

More Affordable

This 3D printing has a low cost of labor and it is among the most important benefit of 3D Printing technology. Labor Costs play a big role in deciding the amount of money to be invested in creating a substructure.

Labor costs are very high in the conventional manufacturing approach and it also needs competent machine operatives.

Whereas in 3D printing technology, we only need a machinist to push a button, and the remaining procedure is done by the automated process of the printer.

Therefore, manufacturing products through 3D printing is good for small-scale and mass manufacturing.

Faster Production

The production speed that can be achieved through 3D printers is advantageous using this technology in comparison to the classic manufacturing methods.

It is so because 3d printing is easier and quicker than the classical methods of manufacturing.

From the preparation of the blueprint to the final product, 3D printing incorporates designs and ideas quickly.

Complex designs can be prepared from a CAD model and be used for 3D printing. In routine, it takes just a few hours for the 3D printing to complete.

Better Quality of Objects

The problem that most designers face is how to manufacture articles as systematically as possible. Most additive manufacturing instruments do the manufacturing inbuilt one-step process.

The process is very efficient as it does not require any interference by the machine operator during the manufacturing phase. The machine takes only a few hours to achieve the results once the CAD blueprint is finalized and uploaded to the machine.

The designer has full control over the final product.  The dependence on various manufacturing processes like painting, welding, etc is reduced as the machine produces a part in just one step.

Risk Reduction

A malfunctioning framework can cost the designer both money and time. Even small changes to the blueprint may have a huge impact on financial grounds.

Appropriate verification is an important part of investing in a costly crafting tool. 3D printing technology also assists in checking the design by printing a ready-for-production prototype before investing in costly manufacturing tools; therefore it removes the risk during the prototyping process.

Freedom of Creative Designs & Customization

It is an established fact that traditional manufacturing methods are good in making numerous copies of one thing. This results in lifeless and monotonous designs of the same type.

In turn, 3D printing gives the designers the choice to design creative blueprints with endless personalization, making it easier to place personal touches that the customer demand.

Most of the hindrance of additive manufacturing stays around how to expeditiously create a print to lower support reliance. Consequently, the designers have ample choices to create models and complex geometries.

Usage of Mixed Raw Materials

As it is prevalent in the manufacturing sector mass manufacturing does not uplift the combination of raw materials as it can be costly.

Moreover, the product designers should first estimate the constituents used for injection or subtractive mold manufacturing and combining physical and chemical elements.

But by using the 3D printing technology the designer’s imagination does not have any limitations. 3D printing technology easily accommodates a wide range of raw materials like biomaterial, ceramics, glass, metal, paper, silver, etc.


The constituent subtractive manufacturing methods like CNC milling can results in large volumes of waste materials.

These methods eliminate a notable amount of materials from the first block. However 3D printing uses only materials which are required to create a part.

Moreover, the constituents can be recycled and reused for further processes. Therefore additive manufacturing results in very little waste and saves a lot of money.

Disadvantages of 3D Printing

Limited Materials

3D Printing can create items in a combination of plastics and metals. However, the raw materials available for selection are not very.

It is because of the fact that not all plastics or metals can be temperature controlled ample to allow 3D printing.

Moreover, many of these printable constituents cannot be recycled. In fact very few are of food quality.

Restricted Build Size

3D printers nowadays have small print chambers that restrict the size of parts that can be printed. Anything more than a specific size will require to be printed in separate parts and assembled together post-production.

It can increase time and costs for bigger parts because of the printer requires printing more parts before human labor is used to assemble the parts together.

Post Processing

It is a fact that although large parts need post-processing most 3D printed parts required some form of cleaning up to separate support matter from the build and to level the surface to get the needed finish.

Post-processing processes used include a chemical soak and rinse, water jetting, air or heat drying, sanding, assembly and others. The amount of post-processing required on factors including the dimension of the part being manufactured, the purposive application and the set of 3D printing technology used for manufacture.

So, while 3D printing lets the quick production of parts, the speed of manufacture can be delayed by post-processing.

Large Volumes

3D printing is a fixed cost unlike more classical techniques like injection molding. The large volumes can be very cost-effective to manufacture, unlike traditional manufacturing.

Moreover, the capital investment for 3D printing can be lower than other production methods. Once scaled up to manufacture big volumes for mass manufacture, the unit cost does not reduce as it gets with injection molding.

Part Structure

With Additive Manufacturing also known as 3D printing parts are manufactured layer by layer. In turn, these layers stick together it also means that they can get apart under certain orientations or stresses.

This problem gets more scorching when manufacturing items using fused deposition modeling while poly-jet and multi-jet parts also can be more brittle.

In specific cases it will be better to use injection molding as it fabricates correlative parts which will not break and separate.

Reduction in Manufacturing Jobs

A big disadvantage of 3D technology is the probable reduction in human labor, as most of the production is robotic and done by printers.

However many Asian and South American countries rely on blue-collar jobs to have their economies going, and this technology can put these production jobs at risk by reducing the need for production in other countries.

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