How to Find the Right 3D Printing Process


Finding the right 3D printing technology is not an easy task because it involves many different considerations. More often than not, multiple aspects are contradicting effects and in the end, a balance needs to be found. With this article, you should be able to figure out which technologies are worth considering for your application. However, there are always exceptional cases and situations that can not be covered in a short article like that.


We created a flowchart that simplifies the process of finding the right process. Keep in mind that this flowchart does not only help you find the right process but also shows you the questions which should be asked in general. This chart is a guide for you on where to look.

However, there might be more factors that need to be considered in order to get to a final decision, which are not discussed here.

(Click on image to enlarge) Flowchart to find the right 3D printing process for your application

Going to the details

For a better, more in-depth decision process, an understanding of the different 3D printing processes is necessary. The wider and deeper that understanding is, the better the final decision will be. The issue here is that there are so many printing processes in existence, especially for niche requirements.

There will always be processes that exist but are unknown to the decision-maker. For now, let’s assume you know the most important processes. Then, it’s important to ask what should be achieved with the 3D printer. Figuring out the goal/purpose of the printer requires asking the following questions:

  • What materials shall the parts be printed of?
  • What size are the printed parts?
  • What tolerances does the printer need to hold? (sometimes post-processing is inevitable)
  • What is the minimum feature size the printer needs to have?
  • How many parts shall be printed?
  • What is the cost? (Purchase cost of the printer and/or the outsourcing/running costs)
  • What are the required post-processing steps required to get the final part?

If you know the answers to these questions, then most often, a well-founded decision can be made.


As you can see, deciding on a technology is not always easy, especially if it has a big financial impact on your company. Therefore, sometimes it can be a wise idea to first outsource some test parts and trials before committing. Also, expert knowledge and databases of printing solutions help you to make better, faster and more economic decisions.

Are you currently deciding which 3D printing technology to use? We are here to help you! Just give us a call or write us here. We are happy to help you regardless of how small or large the project is. Many questions can already be answered in just a single call.

The next releases of our newsletter will cover:

  • High-resolution 3D Printing (SLA/DLP)
  • Holistic Benefits of 3D Printed Parts
  • Low Quantity Parts / Replacement Parts with 3D Printing
  • 3D Printed Waveguides
  • Replacing Moulded Parts with 3D Printed Parts

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