As designers of high stress and high cycle mechanisms we try to pursue any materials which may give us an advantage. Although it seems counter-intuitive, I have looked into the materials used in 3D printing. Common ones : PLA & ABS. Less common: nylon 618 & wood fiber based. The material properties themselves are a bit low in their tensile strength and all the other mechanical properties are below the limits we need in high load, torque and stress properties. One other problem that I have discovered is that 3D printed parts are layered and any loads applied that tend to separate the layers will be successful in destroying the part. All is not doom and gloom. In friction hinges and rotary viscous dampers there could be some advantages in the low cycle prototype area. Also, very low torque miniature friction hinges and dampers could possibly be made from PLA. The applications could be toys, cosmetic cases, light duty doors, protection lids, safety devices which need the ability to fail under loading. If your focus is safety, a 3D printed device designed properly could prove useful. Low cost and speed is also an advantage of 3D printed parts. A rotary viscous damper which needs to be operate in a spark free environment could be made from static resistant 3D printed plastic. We will be experimenting soon with 3D printed components to verify future possible applications. Who knows? maybe your next prototype may contain a 3D printed component. See us a www.mmtech.us we may be able to help get your next project going.