Examples of applications and more

No need for 3d printing? We do not really believe that...

"We have no need for 3D printing" is a statement you still hear from time to time. If you associate 3D printing only with prototypes, or with abstract applications that have nothing to do with your own business, it's not surprising. Likewise, news of large aerospace or automotive companies printing very innovative parts can distract from the fact that there are applications for every business.

Illustrationsbild: wofür eignet sich 3D-Druck

For which specific applications is additive manufacturing suitable? Are you already using the potential for your company, or do you not yet know what would be suitable in concrete terms?

So that you no longer think 3D printing is too abstract for your needs in the future, we have compiled a list of suitable applications. Please note that you should already consider the potential of additive manufacturing during the design phase in order to achieve the desired added value (see also links to further articles at the end of this text). Dare to order your first part from additive manufacturing, you will see it is worth it.

Components for mechanical and plant engineering

In mechanical and plant engineering, it is already hard to imagine life today without 3D printing. There are an enormous number of use cases that can be made more suitable or economical with additive manufacturing. Some examples:

  • Components that have unnecessarily complex geometries (see topology optimization).
  • Components that are too heavy but still need to be stable (cf. lattice structures and bionics)
  • Components in lightweight design or with lattice structures
  • Bins and sorters for the transport of parts in a plant
  • Material slides
  • Components that have unnecessary sharp edges (provided with curves)
  • Components with media ducts, for example cable ducts for robot arms, air ducts for cooling, etc.
  • Assemblies whose interaction of components is not optimal, for example with milled and turned parts, standard parts and seals (combine in one component)
  • Weaknesses in element connections between components that have arisen due to limitations in conventional manufacturing (optimize)
  • Molds for injection molded parts
  • Small series that would be too expensive in conventional production
  • Series components in larger series, if components can be optimized (cf. additively manufactured series with 10,000 units and more)
Metall 3D Druck Fahrzeug-Bauteil

Component for a vehicle

Bionische Radträgerkonstruktion mit Feinguss hergestellt

A bionic wheel carrier design

3D-Druck Metall-Bauteil topologieoptimiert Lattice-Struktur

Component with a lattice structure

Applications for the electrical engineering industry

  • Special grippers with complex shapes
  • Multifunctional attachments for robot solutions
  • Specially shaped housings, housing shells

Picture: Housing

For all industries: Tools, aids and spare parts

3D-Druck Oldtimer Ersatzteil Gummidichtung
  • Tools with cooling channels that run parallel to a tool wall and cannot be optimally implemented with conventional manufacturing and drilling
  • Tool holder
  • Customized tools
  • Holders, clamping and press-fit devices
  • Spare parts that are no longer available, e.g. housing covers
  • Spare parts for which no costly/expensive warehousing is required

Picture: Rubber seals for a vintage car

Medical Technology

  • Medical aids and devices with customized parts
  • Customized prostheses, orthotics, insoles, etc.
  • Patient specific models for surgery planning

Note: various materials with ISO standard 10993 are available on the platform: e.g. ULTEM 1010 (FDM), PA11 (SAF)

Ingenieure begutachten 3d gedruckte Orthese

Orthosis from 3D printing

3D gedrucktes DNA-Modell für die Medizin

Demonstration model for training etc.

Architecture, fashion and design

  • Architectural models
  • Customized design items
  • Shoe soles and other personalized fashion items
  • Packaging with special shapes for luxury items
  • Company logos in 3D
  • Personalized promotional gifts in small quantities
  • And much more.

Note: many materials on the platform have been specifically developed for highly technical applications in industry and must meet corresponding properties that would not be necessary for design items, for example. As a result, the price may be higher than for low-cost suppliers with lower-quality materials. Ask your Solution Partner for advice on which material is suitable for your application.

3d printed architectural model of a small village

An architectural model from the 3D printer

Jellypipe Werbegeschenk 3D gedruckter Ball, PA11, SAF

Promotional gift: ball

Schiffsmodell aus dem 3D-Druck

Multicolor print ship model

Decisive in terms of price/performance: the design for 3D printing

The design of components has a significant influence on whether 3D printing is worthwhile, as components can be greatly optimized. What was not producible in conventional manufacturing can be easily produced in 3D printing. Please also read the following articles:

Read more? You will find exciting topics here

There is a lot to learn about 3D printing. Here are a few topics that could also be exciting for you.

We wish you much success with 3D printing and your projects and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.


Your Jellypipe


Markus Grimm
Chief Virtual Printfactory

Newsletter subscription

Stay up to date with our newsletter.