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3D Printing: The 5 Biggest Myths and Misconceptions
3D Printers for manufacturers (and a multitude of other industries) are quite literally changing the world.
These innovative printers create 3D parts, individual components, and much more. 3D Printers are cheaper, faster, and more environmentally friendly than the subtractive manufacturing approaches of the past. They require fewer resources, including human resources, and are considerably more sustainable than traditional fabrication methods.
Not to mention that manufacturers can use 3D Printers in combination with robust 3D software that enables the design, development, and testing phases to be fully integrated with the production process.
As wonderful as technology is, there are many common misconceptions about what we can actually do with 3D Printing. Some of these myths are easily busted, while others are closer to the truth.
Let’s explore five of the most widespread exaggerations out there today.
3D Printers for Manufacturers: The Top 5 Myths Demystified
There are many myths and misconceptions out there about 3D Printers, particularly in the manufacturing realm. Here are a few of the most basic fallacies you might have heard:
Myth 1: “3D Printers are too expensive ever to be practical.”
The Truth: It’s true that there is a substantial initial outlay of cash to purchase a 3D Printer and the software required to implement 3D Printing. However, the cost savings over the life of your 3D Printer will more than make up for that up-front cost.
With higher efficiency, improved capabilities, built-in innovation, and fewer resources required throughout the manufacturing process, 3D Printing is cheaper in the long run.
You pay for the 3D Printer just once, but you will enjoy savings every day on every project.
Myth 2: “It’s plug and play—3D Printing can easily be implemented in any manufacturing environment.”
The Truth: This isn’t quite the case. Yes, you can literally purchase a 3D Printer and (with the correct, corresponding software) start printing your 3D designs right away.
However, in a large manufacturing setting, this process is much more in-depth. It requires strategy, planning, and clear communication across the board before you’re ever ready to purchase a printer.
Then, implementation is a full-on project that must be managed appropriately to keep all parts moving and all players informed.
Myth 3: “3D Printers for manufacturers are stealing jobs from real people.”
The Truth: Again, this isn’t necessarily the whole truth. While it is true that 3D Printing doesn’t require as much human facilitation and interaction as traditional methods, people will always have their place in manufacturing.
Even with the most innovative 3D Printing technology solutions, there will always be a need for some level of human oversight, human creativity, and skilled human labor involved in the 3D Printing process.
Myth 4: “3D Printers can print anything—even fully functioning human organs!”
The Truth: It sounds far-fetched, but this one is actually closer to the truth. Some human organs (like ears) have indeed been 3D Printed and then successfully transplanted onto humans. Even so, fully functional 3D-Printed organs are still merely a potential futuristic feat.
Cells can be 3D Printed quite successfully. The biomaterials that make up human tissue can also be 3D Printed and are often used in testing drugs and other treatments prior to animal testing or human clinical trials.
However, fully functioning human organs are so complex—far too complex for current 3D Printing technology. So, while that is a goal for scientists, it’s currently nothing more than a future possibility.
Myth 5: “3D Printers for manufacturers won’t work because their products aren’t up to par.”
The Truth: This may have been true of 3D Printers in the past. However, today’s versions are actually more capable than traditional manufacturing in a lot of ways.
Now, 3D Printers are using advanced materials like light metals, plastics, and truly impressive composites. The testing process is also much improved with 3D Printing as well. You’ll find that the strength of 3D Printed parts can be incredible, and the parts are highly durable—even in challenging production environments.
And that’s not to mention the level of complexity that 3D Printers are capable of producing. We’re talking about levels that would never have been possible with subtractive manufacturing!
DesignPoint: Transform Your Efforts with the Best 3D Printers for Manufacturers
Now that we have busted several of the most common myths about 3D Printers for manufacturers (and beyond), you can see how impactful the technology truly is.
It isn’t quite as simple as “plug and play” with 3D Printers, and they can’t print anything under the sun. But the technology is undoubtedly ushering in unprecedented innovation, efficiency, and cost savings across numerous industries.
3D Printers are evolving the manufacturing world quickly and achieving exceptional results along the way.
When you are ready to level up your projects with a 3D Printer for manufacturers, contact us. DesignPoint is here to help you transform your efforts and your business’s future.