The 3 Dimensions of 3D Printing

Three Benefits of Additive Strategy

We’ve been educating you about exactly WHAT is 3D Printing but are you wondering WHY 3D Printing is the right choice for your manufacturing needs?  Additive manufacturing is literally changing the way in which we make objects, adding new dimensions of possibilities that save time and money while creating superior quality end products.  Let’s take a look at just three dimensions of 3D Printing that are changing the manufacturing landscape.

1st Dimension: Increased Productivity

3D Printing creates a product far faster than other types of manufacturing.  Other forms of manufacturing require you to build a solid prototype to determine its efficacy, taking up valuable time when you’re trying to get your product to market. But CAD applications like SOLIDWORKS Simulation can analyze and validate your design in the comfort of your own computer, giving you confidence in your product before it arrives on the production floor.

3D Printers also produce designs faster than other forms of manufacturing, reducing days of work into hours.  And the small footprint of 3D printers enables businesses to make parts in-house rather than wait for them to arrive from a (potentially costly) outside vendor.

2nd Dimension: Reduced Costs

A 3D Printer can save dollars when it comes to outsourcing, but, more impressively, it saves a ton in material cost. In traditional manufacturing, such as Computer Numerical Control machining (known as CNC), skilled machinists carve away at a chunk of metal until they reach their desired shape/design. Think of them as the Leonardo da Vincis of the shop floor. The excess material is removed from the product (hence the name “subtractive” manufacturing) and becomes waste. With 3D Printing layers are strategically added on only using the material that is needed. Less waste equates to lower costs.

Manufacturers also spend significant capital on machines designed to create only one item. When that item becomes outdated the entire machine must be retrofitted for the new part or even replaced, with an expensive price tag attached.  A single 3D Printer can produce a wide variety of items, creating one-stop shopping for all of your production needs and eliminating the cost of obtaining more machines to make each new part.

3rd Dimension: Enhanced Design

Traditional manufacturing focuses on creating multiple copies of the same product. But what if a customer asks for a modification to the design? In the age of customization, it’s not an unusual request. 3D Printing allows for the flexibility to keep up with different demands of the modern day.

Another interesting concept to consider is HOW we design today. Every manufacturing method has space and configuration confines, but 3D Printing definitely has less. Instead of designing with respect to your limits, your design options could be limitless. Tool path considerations, for instance, no longer limit geometry or technical ability.

The endless options that come with 3D Printing are expanding the horizons of manufacturing shop floors around the world.  Increased productivity, reduced costs and enhanced design allow you to get a higher quality product to market faster, which gives your business a competitive edge. When we look at the varied dimensions of 3D Printing, its no wonder why DesignPoint knows that MORE IS POSSIBLE® with an additive strategy.

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