What are the advantages of 3D printing?
Nowadays a lot of people request a CNC machining quote from a machine shop because they want their design to be produced with the help of CNC machining. However, this is not always the right manufacturing method to use. In some instances it might be better to opt for additive manufacturing for example, which can be done by hiring a 3D printing service. 3D printing, as additive manufacturing is often called, is quite possibly one of the best manufacturing processes at the moment. This is partially the case due to the advantages mentioned below.
Freedom of design
Due to the layered construction method and the simple removal of support, it is possible to manufacture very complex shapes that can never be produced conventionally. In fact, sometimes the support structures are not even needed, this purely depends on the complexity of the product that is being created. However, in general you do have a lot of freedom when it comes to designing a part that you will produce with the help of a 3D printer.
Little start-up costs
Because there are little or no start-up costs with 3D printing, producing a few pieces is also interesting. In other words, you do not have to produce a big batch at once. This is why 3D printing is often used to produce prototypes. Especially when you compare additive manufacturing to other production techniques like injection molding you will see why 3D printing is a great process because of this.
Cost reduction of 3D printing
In some cases, a customer will eventually opt for a conventional technique such as injection molding. This can also be a very logical decision. But even then, 3D printing is very interesting in the start-up process. At an early stage, revisions can be made and fits checked so that the potential failure costs are reduced. You can achieve this by creating prototypes before you actually start producing a lot of the parts. Test the prototypes to see how the product can still be improved, of course.
Stock reduction and digital stock
Thanks to the fast production method that is 3D printing, it is no longer necessary to have large stocks. As a result, the stock can be reduced or even completely taken over by a digital stock. This has a few advantages. For example, you no longer need a warehouse or it can at least be much smaller than it was before you started using 3D printing. Again, this will lead to a cost reduction, so you save even more money.
Customization of 3D printed parts
Because you work with digital files when using 3D printing to produce parts, it is very easy to make changes. It therefore does not matter whether, for example, an identical series or a series is printed with specific adjustments at model level, think of names, numbers, colors, technical adjustments, et cetera. Because of this, it is possible to customize your products, while you could personalize them too. Nowadays, customers really appreciate it when they have the possibility to personalize the product.