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3D Printing Blog

8 reasons 3D Printing is a key batch manufacturing technology


If you’re facing resistance from your manager, sceptical about 3D printing as a serious technology for batch manufacturing, you’re probably not alone. Convincing them requires a solid understanding of the technology’s benefits and its potential impact on production. 

Here are the top eight arguments, with compelling data points and examples in favour of considering 3D printing to arm yourself with for your next conversation.

1. Now a mature technology

While 3D printing was initially synonymous with rapid prototyping, the market has evolved rapidly. Solutions are now available designed from the ground up  with batch manufacturing in mind e.g. HP’s MJF technology. In fact, according to a report by SmarTech Analysis, the global market for 3D printing in production reached $4.1 billion in 2020 and will grow to $46bn billion by 2030. That kind of growth signifies a real shift towards adopting 3D printing for end-use parts and products.

2. A great leveller in reducing time to market 

Traditional manufacturing methods like injection moulding involve lengthy setup times and tooling processes, resulting in slow time-to-production. 3D printing eliminates the need for tooling, allowing for rapid changes and faster product launches. And while companies like BMW and Adidas have reportedly leveraged 3D printing to reduce time to market by up to 50%, 3D printing’s other advantages mean there’s no reason why you need to be at their scale to do the same.

3. Cost-efficiency at any scale

Batch manufacturing using 3D printing is the great leveller for SMEs to compete. With almost no set-up costs, plus the ability to produce almost limitless combinations of products and parts in each run, efficiencies can be made at almost any quantity. Working with a 3D print manufacturer also removes the up-front fixed costs of production grade machines. Now you can prototype in-house on smaller machines, then sub-contract out at the production stage.

In addition, unlike subtractive manufacturing methods such as CNC machining, 3D printing produces very little material waste. Instead, it is an additive process that uses only the necessary amount of material, reducing waste and associated costs. 

4. Greater design flexibility 

3D printing enables intricate and complex geometries that are challenging or impossible to achieve with traditional manufacturing. It also provides a potentially lower cost alternative and complementary manufacturing methods for components and sub-assemblies.  This design freedom can mean weight reduction, consolidation of parts, and customisation, enhancing product performance and functionality, and potentially reducing assembly times. For example, GE Aviation utilised 3D printing to turn 855 parts into just 12 for their LEAP aircraft engine fuel nozzles. This resulted in both weight reduction and improved fuel efficiency. Not limited by fixed tooling, design changes can be incorporated in every production run delivering an unrivalled agility.

5. Lower stockholding and on-demand delivery

Traditional manufacturing is a risky business. It needs large upfront investment, accurate forecasting and large inventory stockpiles to meet demand. This can lead to overproduction, excess and potentially obsolete inventory costs. 3D printing enables on-demand manufacturing, allowing companies to produce parts and products as needed, reducing inventory holding costs and minimising the risk of obsolescence.

6. Improved sustainability

With increasing awareness of environmental issues, sustainability has become a priority for many companies. 3D printing offers sustainability benefits such as reduced material waste, energy efficiency, and the ability to use recycled materials. It also facilitates manufacture much closer to the point of end consumption. A study by the European Patent Office, 3D printing can reduce material usage by up to 90% compared to traditional manufacturing methods, all contributing to helping businesses meet their carbon reduction targets.

7. Customisation and personalisation 

In today’s consumer-driven market, customisation and personalisation are key differentiators. 3D printing enables mass customisation by allowing for unique designs, part identification markings and individualised products without incurring additional costs or production lead times. This capability opens up new opportunities for product differentiation and customer engagement.

8. Agility and Adaptability 

In a fast-paced and constantly evolving market, agility is crucial for staying competitive. 3D printing offers unparalleled agility for batch manufacturing, allowing for quick design iterations, product customisation, and rapid response to changing market demands. Companies like Nike have embraced 3D printing to create customised athletic footwear tailored to individual athletes’ needs, Ford Motor company have offered customers the ability to customise their vehicles, and Ocado have created entire solutions heavily utilising HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology across their robotic warehousing solutions. 


By presenting these compelling arguments backed by facts, figures and the tacit endorsement of the technology by household brands, you can effectively convey the benefits of 3D printing for batch manufacturing to your sceptical manager. Emphasise the technology’s ability to drive innovation, reduce costs, and improve efficiency, not just for major multinationals, but also for organisations at almost any scale, ultimately positioning your company for success in the dynamic manufacturing landscape.



As a next step, why not set up a no-obligation conversation with us, and we’ll share our own examples and case studies, relevant to your own business and industry.