Todd Grimm has written an excellent article for TCT magazine which discusses the practical advantages of using Rapid Prototyping and Additive Manufacturing in business. It’s a tiny bit jargon heavy, but it’s very much worth a read:
…The real benefit of additive manufacturing (AM) is not speed. Although speed can be advantageous, it is only a feature of AM that translates to a benefit when a lead time reduction produces results. The real benefit of AM is efficiency, a measure that considers speed, effort, process delays, process steps and personnel time.