The Environmental Impact of 3D Printing: Myth vs. Reality

May 1, 2024 | 3D printing | 0 comments


Since many additive manufacturing processes lowers emissions, cuts down on waste, and can be more effective cost-wise, many businesses are turning to it as their main source of production. Manufacturing technologies like 3D printing and CNC machining are included in environmentally friendly processes for modern production. To learn more about 3D printing processes, visit this page.

Read on to learn about the differences between myths and realities of 3D printing and clean manufacturing.


1st Myth: 3D Printing is Harmful to the Environment

Because of the newness and uncommonness of the large-scale 3D printing industry, some people believe that 3D printing is harmful to the environment. However, this is not true. 3D printing processes actually cut down on emissions of businesses, limit waste and scrap, and can be done with recyclable materials. People may also believe that 3D printing uses more energy and is less conservative than other processes. 3D printing actually uses less energy and time to produce parts than other production machines because of the faster print times and more efficient technology.

3D printing reduces waste by limiting the amount of scrap material that is produced. In fact, most 3D processes allow for excess material and scrap to be reused in future prints. Cutting down on waste is one way that 3D printing actually benefits the environment. Also, 3D printing further reduces the overall carbon footprint of many industries because it can replace many other manufacturing technologies that are more harmful to the environment.


Reality: 3D Printing Can Be Environmentally Friendly

Another benefit of 3D printing is that ecofriendly and biodegradable materials can be used for printing processes. This aspect of production further helps the environment and proves the usefulness and overall benefits that can be associated with the process. To read about all our materials, visit this page.

Businesses that use 3D printing can not only cut down on costs and time wastes, but also on wasted material and scrap produced when manufacturing. 3D printing can even be done with metal materials, resulting in an alternative for producing traditional parts that still need to be metal.

Additive manufacturing also has been proven to reduce waste, especially in the manufacturing industry. As stated before, 3D printing allows unused material to be reused in later projects. In one case study, a tractor supplying company reduced emissions and waste after using 3D technology in their production processes. Similar studies have shown similar results when 3D production processes are used in place of traditional production methods.


2nd Myth: 3D Printing Increases Carbon Emissions

Since 3D printing usually uses electric power, it does not produce typical carbon emissions of factories. This results in lower overall emission levels.  In addition, 3D printing processes often are shorter and quicker in producing the same part as compared to traditional methods. Some people may believe that 3D printing is more harmful to the environment, but this had been proven to be false, thanks to several studies. Read more here.


Reality: 3D Printing Offers Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Another way 3D printing can reduce overall emissions is by offering printing options locally available to anyone. The wide availability of 3D allows for less time and emissions from shipping and handling costs. Since 3D printing is also a more cost-effective option, look for ways you can implement 3D technology in your daily business processes!



Although some may believe that 3D printing is more harmful than helpful to the environment, it has been shown to be a cleaner source of manufacturing. It can reduce production emissions, lower costs for businesses, lower waste levels, reuse material, and limit the amount of shipping and handling necessary in many cases. Whatever your business or particular industry, it can be helpful to look into how 3D printing may be beneficial to you. It is also important to keep in mind that 3D technology is always updating and improving.

Today, you can get started with 3D printing right away! Upload a order to JawsTec’s quote page and try it out today.


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