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There are many examples of what 3D printing in lightweight construction can make possible in today’s age: bionic structures or small series that previously wouldn’t have been efficient to produce. Resource efficiency is just as important. But all theory is gray, and researchers from the University of Stuttgart and the Ferdinand-Steinbeis Institute have developed a brief analysis , which has now been published by Leichtbau BW GmbH .

Among other things, the study reveals how using external AM (additive manufacturing) service providers can achieve scale effects. Potentials for savings can be realized by using and better utilizing in-house machines when finishing AM products. The study also addresses the opportunities and risks presented by additive manufacturing as a service.

The results of the analysis are supported by a study of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics . Researches aimed to learn how resource-efficient a production process is when lightweight components are made out of aluminum using additive manufacturing. The answer: very much so. Even the most minor of savings in materials and resources per component would achieve major cost savings in series production. At the end of the day, researchers concluded that generative metal production is a game changer for many industries, such as aviation and aerospace technology, vehicle and medical engineering and tool making.