3D printing technology is indeed transforming the way we look at things today. There is not even a single thing that a 3D printer cannot produce. Did you know? You can even build a house using 3D printing technology. If you find this fascinating, wait until you hear this. You can even produce food with this technology. Yes, you heard it right. Scientists today are considering 3D printers as a food source. However, there are certain limitations with 3D printed food. The main one being – it only works with softer ingredients like cheese, chocolate, and syrup. But scientists believe that even with those limitations, their work has promise.
So, from saving lives, to manufacturing stuff like machinery parts, jewellery, dress and what not, 3D technology is increasingly being used by industries across.
What is this 3D printing technology?
3D printing aka additive manufacturing is the process of producing 3-dimensional objects from a computer file, where you build the part by adding material, layer-by-layer.
And because it builds objects by adding material layer by layer, they offer a unique set of advantages over traditional subtractive and formative manufacturing processes. And manufacturers just love this technology because they can make anything with its help and not to forget – the amazing benefits this technology has to offer. Let’s look at the advantages that come with using this mind-blowing technology.
5 Advantages of using 3D printing technology
1. Speed – fast design and production
Before the 3D printing technology existed,a prototype would take weeks to manufacture. And with every change – big or small, the process would just get extended, thereby wasting a lot of time, money and effort. Sometimes, this entire process would even take a year to complete. But with 3D printing technology, the entire process changed and in fact became swift with great designs being produced in no time.
Here’s a trivia question for you! Do you know what makes 3D printing technology so popular and wanted?
Yes, it is its ‘rapid prototyping’ ability.
And what’s this rapid prototyping, you ask? It is simply the ability to design, manufacture, and test a customized part in as little time as possible. Not just that, if need be, it even allows you to modify the design without any impact on the speed of the manufacturing process.
For instance, imagine your machine has a missing part and you have made arrangements to import that same. It may take days or even weeks for the parts to reach you. However, with 3D printing technology in place, you can turn CAD models into functional physical parts within a few hours. Also, it enables you to get on with small production runs for testing. And this allows designers and engineers to develop ideas faster. Thereby, helping companies to bring products more quickly to the market.
Bottom line: For small production runs and prototyping, 3D printing is the best option as far as speed, design, and production is concerned.
2. No or little wastage
Another thing that 3D printing technology is most valued for is – no or very little wastage of materials. The 3D printing process uses the exact amount of material prescribed to create the object you need, leaving no room for wastage of any kind. Thereby, reducing your overall costs as well. However, this is not the case with most of the traditional manufacturing techniques.
In other words, with 3D printing, there’s no need for the costly tooling and setup linked to injection molding or machining. Because the same equipment can be used from prototyping to production to create parts with different geometries. This brings us to the most obvious point. Yes, it’s environmentally friendly too!
3D printing is great for your business in all ways, from manufacturing fully functional prototypes to lowering your costs, and saving time – all while accelerating your product development.
That is, 3D Printing can produce different objects all by itself without having to use multiple tools. Thereby, increasing flexibility in the production flow and reducing the overall industrial expenses.
Not just that you can set 3D printers and just leave them to do their job. In other words, your operators need to have to be present there all the time to inspect it and instead can channel their time on other important tasks while the 3D printer does its job. Most importantly, you can even outsource your projects to a 3D printing service company if you find the 3D printing equipment to be expensive. It will save you costs either way!
4. Mass-customization and design flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is the freedom to design and customize. With 3D technology in place, you can actually recreate all your ideas, transforming them into actual objects. With 3D printers, you can even print the most complex geometries. In other words, 3D printing allows you to design and print complex patterns that seem impossible with traditional manufacturing processes.
And its ability to customize in masses is extremely advantageous for numerous industries, from the medical field to the production of consumer goods. Because with 3D printing, only the digital design needs to be changed to tailor each product to the customer without additional tooling costs. Since it saves costs and is affordable, the 3D printing technology is increasingly being used to mass customize consumer products.
5. Reduced Risk
Last but not the least, since 3D printing technology allows product designers to verify product prototypes before starting out on substantial manufacturing investments or even production, it prevents risks that could have been potentially disastrous.
In other words, 3D printing technology enables engineers to test prototypes that look and perform like final products. Thereby, reducing the risks of usability and manufacturability issues even before moving into production.
Bottom line: 3D printing technology helps you avoid costly revisions and tooling changes by helping you find and fix design flaws in advance.
Out of all the innovations in science so far, 3D printing technology is in fact one of the most promising technologies. Undoubtedly, 3D printing has changed manufacturing per se. Not just manufacturing, it has transformed industries across – questioning the very way things were once done.
With the unparalleled ability to increase speed-to-market, lower costs and customize specialty parts, it is indeed driving innovation and sparking new technologies. And this list of printing technologies and processes continues to grow as 3D printing is always changing and evolving. Realizing the many benefits this technology offers, many industries are already embracing this technology. What about you? .