When people consider the advances of 3D printing, they tend to think about the technology being used. However, the technology itself is not the end user’s experience of additive manufacturing. The end user is the one who receives the part or product. This person likely will not see the machine on which it was made or know it was 3D printed. Instead, the user experiences the design.
When designing for additive, it’s important to consider not just a part’s printability, but its performance and how it meets functional requirements. One integral component of design is material. It affects how the part is used and whether it functions well or poorly. The end user will live with the material choice for as long as the part is in use.