I find it useful to classify the 3D printers for the manufacturing market to four segments. The major segment, for producing usable parts, is Additive MANUFACTURING. The Auxiliary segment is for producing parts that support anther industrial process like investment casting or sand casting.
The only printers that available today for mass production of parts (Short series) are the powder bed printers. SLS for plastic and SLA and EBM for metal. No other technology can give a fight to powder when it come to the number of parts per job and the mechanical properties of the printed parts.
The best way to success with 3D printing is to adjust the design to the technology and to find the unique leverage that additive manufacturing can give over the traditional technologies for each project.
Polymers are the most common material when it comes to 3D printing but, the selection between types of polymers is very limited.
3D print for manufacturing
3D PRINTERS FOR
MACHIN , TECHNOLOGIES AND CHALLENGES WITH ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING