Three-dimensional printing has always been positioned as the next frontier in manufacturing. Experts have declared this a world-changing technology.
Many manufacturers have embraced technology, and many others plan to introduce to replace traditional manufacturing techniques. Retailers have already jumped onto the wagon, selling their 3D printers to ordinary consumers.
The effects of 3d printing are disruptive both in business and the everyday lives of consumers. Below are some of the unique benefits of this technology.
1. Improves Odds of Success for Small Businesses
The traditional process of creating manufacturing requires casting molds to produce the prototype. The molding materials cost thousands of dollars, a factor that usually locks many entrepreneurs out of business.
When the product turns out to be worthless, there is no way of recovering that money.3D printing helps entrepreneurs to skip this step since materials are directly printed to form the end product.
Additionally, conventional prototyping methods are labor intensive. For a complete prototype, you would need technicians and machine operators. You have to pay these laborers by the hour. With the 3D printing, you only need one person to man the printer.
2. Products are Cut to Fit
The other exciting benefit of 3D printing is that companies can easily customize products to fit consumer’s needs as well as create one-off pieces. This method of manufacturing greatly reduces upfront costs and helps to move inventory. The result is increased profitability.
More and more companies are using 3d printing as a made to measure model of manufacturing. That means that by allowing adaptability on the original product designs, the companies can give consumers the right fitting products. The approach also helps to reduce waste and to move inventory at a faster pace.
3. Allows Design Experimentation
The reduced manufacturing costs create room for designers to experiment with new product concepts. The adaptability of this production technology enables design teams to play around with style and structures that are sturdier and more exciting.
New design possibilities include lightweight designs and lattice type models that reduce the raw materials needed. Manufacturers can expand into entirely new products or create different versions of their current offerings to cater for a diverse market. This kind of freedom leads to innovation and higher customer satisfaction.
4. Additive Manufacturing is Fast
3D printing is faster when compared to conventional subtractive manufacturing. This time difference is a huge deal for companies looking to save on production costs and increase production volumes. A product jumps straight from concept design to the final product.
Manufacturers that embrace this technology get a competitive edge in the market. Their prototypes hit the market long before competitors go through the whole process of endless simulations and design iterations.
5. 3D Printing is a User-Ready Technology
3D printing is an old invention even though it’s just started picking up. What you can expect therefore includes readily available printing material and 3D printing hardware and software. More manufacturers are getting into space, producing consumer-friendly 3D printers and applications. Unlike other technology that takes time to acquire and learn, users can get into the swing of things with this tech in a matter of days.
6. 3D Printing Births Superior Quality Products
Conventional manufacturing processes can easily lead to poor designs and poor quality prototypes. With subtractive manufacturing, it is a case of cutting materials from a solid block to form a 3D model on which the products will be based. If there are errs in measurements or structural testing, you can expect that the end product will be a substandard one. 3D printing guarantees perfect designs that lead to superior quality products.
New tools have been integrated into this technology to enable industrialists to design, test performance and make advanced 3D printed products. For instance, the topology optimization feature allows engineers to remake into a sturdier and lighter shape than traditionally designed parts. It pushes past the boundaries of what we currently call quality.
7. You can Make Structures With Complex Geometry
The old techniques of manufacturing depend on molding and cutting tools to create the desired shapes. That could be an automatic limitation when it comes to working with geometrically complex designs and shapes. To make such products one would require expensive tools and invest much time in prototyping. 3D printing can handle complex geometries with ease.
3D printing helps to reduce task difficulties when making multifaceted product components. Subtractive manufacturing technologies limited designers and engineers in the way they conceptualized products and how they specified casting and forging during the manufacturing process. 3D printing opens new possibilities in design structure and shapes.
8. Turns Consumers into Manufacturers
There is a massive uptake of consumer 3D printers in the market. Whether it is phone accessories, interior design products, jewelry or glassware, consumers have the power to make these products at home. As technology improves, consumers will not need to hit the superstore for these household products.
Everything will be printable in the comfort of the house. The convenience in that is that you get to make a product that is precisely how you want to be. In this manner, 3D printing could easily end world poverty, because your final product is minus the cost of intermediaries, storage and transportation costs among other expenses.
9. Revolutionizes Healthcare
3D printing has dramatically transformed the healthcare industry. The technology has made it possible to customize patient treatments when it comes to aspects such as dental fixtures and prosthetics. 3D printed human body models and surgical guides have also improved accuracy during complex surgeries, helping to reduce accidents and complications.
Additionally, bioprinting using 3D technology has helped to create living tissues and vital organs that have prolonged life. With improvement, there will no longer be a heavy reliance on organ donors because the technology will produce organs such as kidneys ready for transplant.
10. Makes Education Cool and Interactive
3D printing can help students to understand concepts in science and mathematics better. Experts say that we retain 50 % of what we see and 90 % of what we do and only 10 per cent of what we read. 3D modeling and experimentation in the lab can help students to understand the biology, or the physics and molecular structures of an element in a matter of minutes.
School projects will be an exciting time for students to create tangible prototypes as per the curricula. Students of architecture can create models of their building designs, and medical students can make 3D body organs. For young learners, this technology can be used to inspire creativity. They can learn to make their toys from sketches and drawings. It can be a creative hobby and a profitable one too.
11. Reduces Global Warming
Conventional manufacturing technologies often lead to a lot of wastes and greenhouse gas emissions. 3D printing uses fewer raw materials with minimal waste production and is, therefore, the greener option.
Experts estimate that 3D printing cut down waste production by over 80 %. It is because manufacturers can now print product on demand instead of adding the stock to a nonmoving inventory. The technology not only helps to eradicate stockpiling but also reduces the carbon footprint of companies
12. Reduces Losses for Startups
In the manufacturing process, designers are charged with the task of design verification to ascertain quality before moving into prototyping and mass production.
3D printing is an easy way to verify prototypes before investing a substantial amount of money into manufacturing the product. Creators can turn concepts into actual products faster than was previously possible.
13. No Shipping Needed
3D printing helps to reduce shipping costs for a product. Designers can create product concepts in another country and email it to another country for production. That means that manufacturers no longer have to incur shipping costs. In house printing also saves costs for consumers.
They can buy designs and print household products in the comfort of their homes. The fact that there is less travel involved to get the final product to the consumer results in a reduced carbon footprint.
14. No Storage Needed
Businesses usually have to store their products and parts as they wait for consumers to make orders. Goods can sit on shelves for a long time before someone buys them. This scenario costs much money in storage space and conditions such as refrigeration.
3D printing can help businesses to reduce the need for storage space because goods are produced quickly upon demand. This is a cost-effective and sustainable business model that leads to profitability.
15. Mixed Materials Lead to High-Grade Goods
Many companies are trying this technique of production because it enables the use of materials that are strong and durable for a wide range of products. It is possible to make product parts from alloys of mixed raw materials for greater efficiency.
That is the reason why industries such as aerospace and fast cars were the earliest adopters of 3D printed printing. The process creates super strong parts efficiently and with high speed. The parts produced in the process can functionally replace molded and machined parts.
3D printing makes manufacturing much faster, simpler and cheaper. If the technology is improved and all the kinks get ironed out, 3D printing has the potential to transform the world more than its inventors ever imagined.