Benefits with 3D Printing
It is fast – Accelerate Time-to-market
3D printing allows ideas to develop faster than ever. Your first prototype is never your last, you have to redesign it and experience the same struggle again. 3D printing offers quick production iterations, and a concept can be made the same day it was designed, shrinking the development process from what might have been months to a matter of days, helping companies stay one step ahead of the competition.
Prototyping injection mold tools and production runs are expensive investments. The 3D printing process allows the creation of parts and/or tools through additive manufacturing at rates much lower than traditional machining.
In the traditional industrial manufacturing, production of the tools takes time, labor and cost. However, for low to medium volume applications in industrial 3D printing, this can be eliminated, thereby saving cost, time and labor. This is one of the benefits that most manufacturers are taking advantage.
Being able to verify a design before investing in an expensive molding tool is worth its weight in 3D printed plastic, and then some. Printing a production-ready prototype builds confidence before making these large investments. It is far cheaper to 3D print a test prototype then to redesign or alter an existing mold.
Describing the product you are going to deliver is often misinterpreted since it leaves construction up to the imagination. A conceptual picture of the product is better than the description since it is worth 1,000 words, but getting to hold the tangible product-to-be, in hand, clears all lines of communication. There is no ambiguity when holding the exact, or at least a very close, representation of the product.
With a prototype you can test the market by unveiling it at a trade-show, showing it to potential buyers or investors, or raising capital by pre-selling on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Getting buyers response to the product before it actually goes into production is a valuable way to verify the product has market potential.
Feel it, hold it, use it, and even test it
One thing you can’t get from a picture or virtual prototype on the computer screen is the way something feels in your hand. If you want to ensure the ergonomics and fit of a product are just right, you must actually hold it, use it and test it.
Easy to Customize
With standard mass-production, all parts come off the assembly line or out of the mold the same. With 3D printing, one can personalize, customize and tweak a part to uniquely fit their needs, which allows for custom fits in the medical and dental industries and helps set people apart in the fashion and jewelry world.
Square Holes?… No Problem
The limitations of standard machining have constrained product design for years. With the improvements in additive manufacturing, now the possibilities are endless. Geometry that has been historically difficult or impossible to build; like holes that change direction, unrealistic overhangs, or square interior cavities, is now possible and actually simple to construct.
Build your Imagination
In the modern boom of digital art and design, the possibilities are not only accelerating but limitless. One can now 3D print almost anything they imagine after drawing it up virtually. In a relatively short time, an idea, concept, dream or invention can go from a simple thought to a produced part that you can hold.
Mixing raw materials is not ideal for mass-production methods because it can be costly. In addition, the physical and chemical properties are difficult to combine in the traditional methods. However, 3D printing continues to progress in this area. In fact, from using plastics, 3D printing is now compatible with a variety of material including metals, glass, ceramics, gold, silver, paper, biomaterials and even food. With various materials at hand, you can achieve anything you have in mind with 3D printing.
Fail Fast, Fail Cheap
Being able to test ideas quickly and discover what doesn’t work accelerates discovery leading to an ideal solution. 3D printing allows a product developer to make breakthroughs at early stages that are relatively inexpensive leading to better products and less expensive dead-ends.
More and more people are getting access to 3D printing. In fact, there are 3D printing pens that can produce the same results as that of the 3D printer, only which, the user will have to maneuver the nozzle with his own hands. With this progress, many will be able to create the product they need, when they need it and wherever they are. This scenario can surely shake up the current consumerism ideology. If you support 3D printing, you would probably love easier access to it.
One of the things that the industries should consider is sustainability. 3D printing is energy-efficient and produces less waste. For instance, aircraft makers junked 90 percent of their materials because it’s no longer useful. With additive manufacturing used in 3D printing, it will use lesser energy and waste will be reduced to a minimum. The 3D printed object is 60 percent lighter but solid and sturdy. The lesser the waste, the lower the impact on the environment.