It goes without saying that 3D printing is a very productive and accurate manufacturing method. Even a basic FDM 3D printer is an excellent and affordable prototyping and design tool that can easily be used in the privacy of your own home, so it’s hardly surprising its popularity is growing every year.
So far, however, 3D printing technology is hardly being used to produce marketable products. Sure, there are wonderful small-scale production initiatives out there already (just take a look at Shapeways), while several larger companies have moved to industrial-strength Stratasys 3D printers. Nonetheless, the vast majority of plastic objects are still being produced using the age-old injection mold production methods, that have been the gold standard in masse plastic parts production since its inception in 1872.
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