For example, let's say that you want to make aluminum load-bearing brackets that are components of a larger device. Your supply chain logistics staff dictate a quick turnaround, while a low total cost is required for adequate profit margins. On the surface, five 3D printing technologies offer the means for producing that bracket: binder jetting, directed energy deposition, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, and liquid metal. However, the part requires a blend of availability, cost, material, and performance characteristics. That leaves two options: powder bed fusion and liquid metal.
Comparing the two technologies will determine which is most appropriate for use and, therefore, which vendor to consider. The initial evaluation should focus on three areas: quality, total cost of ownership, and staff skillset.