Five Metal 3D Printed Applications

As 3D printing continues to change how we think about fabricating with metals and the technology becomes more customary on manufacturing floors, it’s essential businesses gain application-centric intuition about the process.

Recognizing the fundamental benefits of metal 3D printing is the first step to gaining this institution.


  • Geometric freedom: With metal 3D printing no shape is too complex. An additive process creates overhangs and intricate geometries with little to no effort.
  • No tooling: 3D printed parts involve no fixturing or tooling which brings the cost per part for low-volume production dramatically down.
  • Automation: Metal 3D printers automatically produce parts from design files, no need for continuous human direction.

With these benefits in mind, below are the five common metal 3D printing applications that are a good fit due to their compatibility with the process.

Five best applications for metal 3D printing

    1. Functional metal prototypes: Since metal 3D printing requires no tooling and not much machine set up, it allows a way to produce metal prototypes with minimal effort. Customers have accurate metal parts in a few days, evaluate designs quickly without the need for expensive tooling rework, and can explore more designs in a shorter period of time.
    2. End-of-arm tooling: 3D printing software automatically generates tool paths which allow engineers to skip the CAM process. A metal 3D printer can create conformal end-of-arm tooling easier and cheaper than usual methods.
    3. Custom Tools: Metal additive manufacturing allows the ability to create custom tools at a low cost per part. Producing specialized tools is no longer a huge expense.
    4. Complex bracketry: Metal 3D printing allows the production of brackets with specialized geometries at low cost. Thin lattices pose no problem in the 3D printing process.
    5. Low-volume end-use parts: 3D printers make parts without the need for tooling, the remedy for high part costs for low-volume production