In this example of traditional manufacturing, a worker operates a bandsaw to cut metal pipe.

While 3-D printing is additive , most traditional manufacturing processes (such as casting and molding, machining, joining, and shearing and forming) remove material from an object to form a final shape.

Top Uses for 3-D–Printed Objects End-use parts: 28.4 percent Functional parts: 27.9 percent Cosmetic models: 10.7 percent Education/research: 9.9 percent Polymer patterns and molds: 7.7 percent

Source: Wohlers Associates

Jigs/fixtures: 6.1 percent Metal tooling: 4.7 percent Other: 4.4 percent

Additive manufacturing, including 3-D printing, offers the following advantages over traditional manufacturing methods:


Cool Careers in Science: 3-d printing specialists

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