Production of end-user products
As mentioned earlier, the 3D printers are perfect for prototypes and models, but they are still not suitable for end-user products.
The problem with 3D printers is that they are still not reliable enough and need a lot of maintenance, which is less than ideal for mass production. They are also not precise enough and will need som post-processing.
3D printing can be used for end-user products of items to be produced in smaller numbers and here is the aviation industry is a good example. In the aviation industry weight saving is extremely important and this can be achieved by using 3D printed parts that can not be done using CNC machining. So 3D printers are today being used to manufacture several components for aircrafts and they are often combined with CNC machines or other automatic post-processing tools.