Applications for Metal 3D Printing

Top 3 Applications for 3D Printing with Metal

Fabricating with metal used to be an in-depth process that required many resources (time, effort, raw materials, an experienced workforce, complex machinery, and money). The more complicated part, the more resources were required to produce it.

However, with the evolution of manufacturing technology and equipment, metal fabrication has suddenly become much less resource intensive—and much less expensive as a result.

With the introduction of the additive manufacturing process,3D printing production parts are cheaper, easier, and faster to produce than ever before. The process itself is also more viable, eco-friendly, and sustainable in the long run.

There is sufficient data now to show that when 3D printing is implemented into the manufacturing process, numerous benefits follow. Companies are seeing advantages such as reduced material waste, fewer resources required and consumed, lower production costs, shortened lead times, and overall fewer negative impacts on the environment.

3D printing production parts are changing manufacturing for good. When it comes to the additive process, certain applications just make sense.

The Top 3 Applications for 3D Printing Metal Production Parts

Yes, coupling traditional manufacturing machinery with 3D printers requires a significant investment. However, the returns are undoubtedly worthwhile.

This is particularly true for the following top three applications for metal 3D printing of production parts.

1. Prototypes

Producing prototypes used to require significant resources, which would then be wasted if the prototype was unsuccessful. Essentially, if a prototype didn’t work, it was tossed, and the design and production process started again. “Going back to the drawing board” over and over again until success was achieved was expensive and wasteful!

When using 3D printing for metal parts, this is no longer the case. Prototypes can be designed and tested within the same software, and prototypes rarely even need to be physically produced. Then, when a prototype is necessary or desired, they are significantly cheaper to 3D print versus being traditionally manufactured.

Because 3D printing requires much less effort, fewer resources, and is faster, every part (or prototype) that is 3D printed is cheaper in the end.

Creating numerous prototypes (and “wasting” the resources it took to do so) is a thing of the past.

2. Low-Volume and Custom Parts

Whether producing a low-volume order or a highly customized part, 3D printing is ideal. Anything that would require special attention or additional setup time in traditional manufacturing is streamlined in the additive process.

There is no need to switch out tooling when a low-volume order is complete, resulting in far less setup time. This also ultimately means shorter lead times. Moreover, custom metal parts can easily be 3D printed without a lot of extra preparation.

3D printing production parts significantly cuts down on the tooling and effort required to manufacture with metal, especially in low-volume and custom scenarios. This also drastically reduces the cost to produce these parts (that were traditionally much more expensive to produce), which can result in happier customers and larger profit margins.

3. Complex Metal Parts and Tools

Much like low-volume and custom production, complexity also equates to higher costs. The more complex the geometry of a part, the more expensive and resource intensive it is to produce.

3D printing simplifies the process dramatically. Complex brackets, end-of-arm tooling, and more can be manufactured more quickly and easily than ever before. Complex geometry no longer requires a production slow down while equipment is reconfigured. The parts go from design files directly to being printed. Complexity, for the most part, no longer incurs additional cost or effort.

DesignPoint Helps Transform Your Business with 3D Printing Metal Production Parts

3D printing of production parts is changing the world of metal fabrication and manufacturing. It’s safe to say this trend is here to stay. The benefits and long-term savings far outweigh the initial cost of switching to the additive process.

DesignPoint proudly offers the biggest brands in both 3D printing hardware and software solutions. If you’re considering investing in a 3D printer to propel your business toward a more sustainable future, contact us. We also offer a full suite of metal printing materials to complement your metal 3D printing needs.

When you are ready to up-level your business with a great deal on the latest 3D technology, DesignPoint is here to help. Let us provide the metal printing materials and hardware you need to transform your business’s future, starting today.