5.1 Custom parts
One of the most exciting opportunities AM offers is for the production of custom components, specifically for medical applications. Figure 4 in Section 2.3 is a picture of a jawbone reconstruction specifically made for the patient in question. But other applications exist – see the examples in Figure 22.
The key point is that once the design is finalised, the cost and effort required to make a single instance of that design versus a large batch are similar. This is almost unheard of in manufacturing and could be called a paradigm shift.