3D printing enables engineers to prototype and validate conceptual design faster. Since tooling production can be skipped to go straight to finished parts, it speeds up the overall development process
Design strongly depends on which manufacturing techniques are employed. Engineers traditionally design anything by considering the possibilities and limitations of milling, turning, casting, forging and welding. Traditionally, some designs optimized for topology are not producible due to their complex shapes. AM can fabricate complex components out of a variety of plastics and metals, such as steel, aluminum.
As a consequence of the high design complexity possible, AM offers the ability to consolidate multiple parts into fewer components, directly reducing the assembly time and costs. Moreover, it simplifies eventual design modifications.
3D printing reduces warehousing and obsolescence costs by allowing on-demand and, sooner or later, on-site manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing helps reduce the weight of aerospace components by printing more efficient geometries, topologically optimized and lattice structures that carve out significant amounts of unnecessary material.