3D printing using plastic has limited scope due to the fragile nature of plastic. Any serious manufacturing is not possible without using metal. 3D printing using metal or Metal Additive Manufacturing has seen significant growth recently. Metals are 3D printed by melting metal powder using a laser beam to fuse it into a solid part. Metals used for 3D printing include stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, silver, gold, alloys of titanium, cobalt, titanium, nickel, among others.
3D printing of metals is used in several industries including aerospace, automobile industry, jewelry, medical, among others. Medical industry, for example, dental and orthopedics benefits with the ability to customize parts for specific individuals. The quality of the 3D printed metal objects is comparable to objects made by conventional manufacturing processes. Manufacturing based on 3D printing results in very little waste compared to conventional manufacturing. Therefore Metal Additive Manufacturing continues to grow and become a significant part of manufacture.