Adopting additive manufacturing and 3D Printing means your company can adapt quickly and be responsive when customer demand suddenly changes. Who doesn’t want to be ready for anything?
But there’s more to it than that. There are so many benefits, and of course, a few disadvantages. Let’s jump in and talk about what additive manufacturing is and why you might want to adopt it for yourself.
Back to Basics: What Is Additive Manufacturing?
3D Printing used in manufacturing is called “additive manufacturing”. But what is additive manufacturing, exactly?
Adopting additive means moving away from its predecessor, “subtractive manufacturing”, where parts are created from larger batches of raw materials. Manufacturers who use this method subtract the parts they need from the raw material, which inherently creates waste. While some of that waste can be reused, much cannot and must be trashed. This utilizes many more resources and can cause adverse environmental impacts.
In additive manufacturing, on the other hand, only the necessary components are added to print the part or end product. This process creates little to no waste to be reworked or disposed of, resulting in fewer resources being used and fewer concerns overall.
Top 5 Benefits of 3D Printing and Adopting the Additive Process
Implementing 3D printers transforms and improves the manufacturing process in many ways. Let’s look at the top five positive changes brought about by adopting additive and 3D Printing in manufacturing:
1. Increased Sustainability
Additive manufacturing uses only the necessary amounts of raw materials to print end products, adding them as the process goes along. This significantly reduces costs and required resources associated with waste because there is very little if any!
When there is little to no waste to be reworked, recycled, or trashed, there are fewer environmental concerns, as discarding industrial waste has significant (and usually negative) environmental impacts. What’s more, 3D Printing can often produce a single end product versus several small parts that need to be assembled, further cutting the resources used.
Since adopting additive requires fewer resources to begin with, produces less waste, and has fewer negative environmental impacts, one significant, positive change heralded by this process is much more sustainable manufacturing overall.
2. Enhanced Innovation
Throughout the additive manufacturing process, there are many opportunities for innovation. Here are a few:
- New materials can be used in ways never considered before
- New applications for existing products are often discovered
- Testing products is easier and requires significantly fewer resources (bye-bye prototypes!)
- More options are available, particularly when it comes to finishes on the final product
With innovation inherent in the process and software and hardware evolving all the time, 3D Printing is leveling up the game.
3. Greater Integration and Automation
3D Printing significantly streamlines the manufacturing process just by its integrated nature. Design, testing, and production used to be completely separate. But now they’re all part of one integrated and innovative process that is further advanced by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
With the new technology integrated into manufacturing, more data gives better insights and leads to more accurate design parameters. Also, automation leads to faster production, which brings us to the next benefit.
4. Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Adopting additive manufacturing will save you in many ways. With more innovation and a significantly streamlined system with fewer distinct steps, you get a simple, smooth process that saves a lot of time, material resources, and money. This results in faster production, increased efficiency, and higher productivity rates.
5. More Appealing to the Next Gen Workforce
When your company is innovative, efficient, adaptable, and embraces the future of manufacturing with high-tech tools and processes, more people will want to work for you. It’s simple. People, especially younger tech-savvy people, want to work for organizations that are forward-thinking and always looking for ways to improve.
The next-generation workforce is born with technology at their fingertips, so if you’re looking to sustain your business through the future, you’ll want to employ all the latest tools and draw in the hottest talent. Adopting additive will get you there faster than maybe anything else.
Plus, producing faster, cheaper, more innovative, more sustainable, better products overall leads to more satisfied employees and customers. 3D Printing is one trend that’s not going anywhere (except everywhere).
DesignPoint: Transforming Your Efforts with 3D Printing
Adopting additive manufacturing and 3D printing processes is making big waves in the business world and creating positive change across the board.
3D printers are the way of the manufacturing future, and the way they’re paving is much more sustainable, innovative, and productive than ever before. When you’re ready to revolutionize your business with a top-quality 3D printer, contact us. DesignPoint helps you transform your future!