Benefits of additive manufacturing for SMEs

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is the most promising advanced manufacturing technology as it brings new product types to the market, reinvents existing ones and improve the manufacturing efficiency.

The modern, layered manufacturing process offers functional design, a new freedom in the fast and tool-free development and production of complex components. In addition, the possibility of individualizing parts defines the fabrication and innovations for future-oriented competitive advantages.

Selection of additive manufacturing processes

Advanced manufacturing processes are selected individually according to the requirements of the component, e.g. subjected to material, geometry and quantity. In the figure you will find four examples of additive manufacturing processes.

The additive manufacturing process, which range from an experimental approach to market introduction, consumes almost exactly the amount of material needed, is saving costs and reduces waste. In this respect, 3D printing technologies can support circular economy by improving resource efficiency, enabling more efficient manufacturing systems, integrating new materials and adopting new business models. Below you can find some advantages for what the new technology stands

General additive manufacturing process

  • Personalization and function integration
  • No restrictions in the design and production of the simplest up to most complex geometries
  • Very fast, tool-free and waste-free production which saves time, costs and resources
  • Decentralized production of units and customization of local manufacturing in acordance to market requirements


Today, additive manufacturing is considered as the key technology for the production of high-performance and mobile components. It can shortening development processes and making production more flexible.

As a network partner, we offer you expert contacts as well as machine and training databases to give you a broad base in this technology. 1

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Marlen Krause
University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz
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Show bibliography for this article
1 (21. 06 2019).; Anguera, M.; G.,. Barriers, challenges and benefits in adopting Additiv; Manufacturing; Anguera, M. G.,. TACTICAL PATHS IN ADOPTING of ADDITIV; MANUFACTURING; Aurélien Acquier, V. C.,. A Circular Economy Busines; Model Case; Bax&Company, H. (2018). DT1.1.2-Foresight Study; HSZG. (2018). Report in the field of advanced manufacturing and related support schemes; Leitat; Technologie Center. (2016). Additive Manufacturing- Benefits of the implementation of Additive Manufacturing; Smith-Gillespie, A.,. Defining the Concept of Circular Economy Business Model,
Published on the 28.02.2020