Published on March 28th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
The Advantages of 3D Printing in Manufacturing
Essentially every product we use and enjoy in our day-to-day lives had to be built by a company or individual at one point in time. Everything from caterpillar parts to computers, to food products, have to be delicately built and manufactured. Manufacturing is a massive industry worth trillions of dollars in the USA alone.
As with many industries, manufacturing is constantly going through trends and identifying ways to improve processes. One of the most popular trends in manufacturing is 3D printing, which is a market that is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down.
But what are the benefits of using 3D printing over some of the other types of processes available? With that in mind, let’s look at a few advantages of using 3D printing in manufacturing.
It is Incredibly Cost-Effective
No matter what you are manufacturing, reducing your costs is a primary objective. One of the biggest expenses for most manufacturing companies is labor. You need people to operate the many machines, check the prototypes between each stage and many other things. The simple cost of paying everyone to do this, not to mention the materials, can be high.
The labor costs when it comes to 3D printing are also incredibly low. You don’t need multiple machines or multiple workers, simply one person to start the machine and automatic creation process.
Another way 3D printing allows for cost savings is the operation of the machine. 3D printing machines don’t use a lot of power, and many are relatively affordable to purchase. Their costs will also continue to go lower as they become more popular and are used by more companies.
Increased Production Speeds
Another advantage of 3D printing is fast production speeds. In the past, prototypes or products could take multiple weeks to build and fine-tune. Compare this to the few days (or even hours) that it can take with a 3D printer, and it is easy to see how this can benefit companies.
The faster things are produced or prototyped, the faster they can eventually be sold or distributed. This reduction in production turnaround time can be significant for companies in industries with a lot of competition, as speed is incredibly important in our fast-paced society. Even things that are relatively complex can be built incredibly quickly, and without a ton of different steps or other machines needed.
Unlimited Customization and Creativity
The flexibility, creativity, and customization options, when it comes to 3D printing, is another advantage of using it over traditional processes. There is no need for a new mold, tool or machine when designing something with a 3D printer. As long as it fits the build volume of your device, you can build it.
The items you build can be as complex and as customized as you’d like. You could even personalize a single item, something not possible with most traditional methods. Also, because no molds or cutting technology is used in 3D printing, you can have much more creativity when it comes to the shapes and designs of the things you are making. You can design prototypes that would be impossible for companies still using traditional methods.
Also, there is often much less waste when dealing with 3D printing as you are building the product up, not breaking or cutting it down from a larger piece of material. This can reduce the waste and also save you the time you would’ve had to spend cleaning up said waste.
In conclusion, there are many advantages to 3D printing in manufacturing, as it can help speed up production, make it more cost-effective, and offer unmatched creativity.