3D printing added a whole new world of possibility to printing—literally—and has already revolutionized how manufacturers create originals and new inventions. Whether testing, prototyping, or producing final products, manufacturers are utilizing the benefits of 3D printing.
Several benefits of 3D printing that makes it a revolutionary production tool:
- Effective use of resources: 3D printing involves fewer processing steps, little assembly, and less energy. It also minimizes waste.
- Small-lot manufacture: 3D printing removes the need to produce parts or products in big quantities. As a result, there is no catalog or stock cost.
- Rapid production: the technology allows makers to go straight from design to manufacturing. It radically reduces cycle times since it doesn’t need a tooling process.
- Swift manufacturing: 3D printing can make spare parts on demand and thus streamline supply chains and logistics.
- Reverse engineering: parts for legacy systems can be effortlessly replaced with the assistance of a scanner and a 3D printer or other manufacturing technology.
More and more companies are moving from experiments and prototypes to printing final products as 3D printing expands its presence and gains new features. As manufacturing continues to grow as a share of applications, more businesses are expected to adapt and increase their uses of 3D printing technology.
Price Water House Cooper (PWC) recently conducted a survey of over 100 leading manufacturing businesses and found out that two-thirds of these top firms already employ 3D printing, in applications from testing to only prototyping to companies who use 3D printing for both prototyping and production.
Many companies build things via 3D printing that are not capable to be built using traditional methods, while others use it for final parts or products. Ford Motors is one major company that uses 3D printing. More than 200,000 parts are printed every year on almost 14 diverse industrial-grade 3D printers at Ford’s Dearborn Heights, Michigan factory. This facility is just one of Ford’s five 3D prototyping facilities – one of three in the U.S
Normally, 3D printing uses a process that enables any manufacturer to save time and money in creating prototypes and, ultimately, in end-use product production. Because 3D printing utilizes an “additive manufacturing” system, in which the product is supplemented to (rather than traditional “subtractive manufacturing” method involved in lathing machine parts), scrap materials can drop from 90 percent to only 5-10 percent. This huge drop in scrap materials represents a better way to create, adding on eco-friendly feature to save on total waste.
The advancement in today’s technology allowed 3D printing to be priced lower. The current class of 3D printers offers higher-end systems, enabling them to be used more extensively as a production product.
Most types of company today will all eventually benefit from 3D printing’s development. As more intricate parts can be printed, final products ranging from metal dental braces to, finally, a completely 3D printed aircraft will emerge.
Did you realize the impact that 3D printing is already making on manufacturing? Isn’t it about time you harness the power of 3D printing for your business?