Not long ago,3D printing was a niche service in the industry which is now predicted to revolutionize manufacturing and production amongst various sectors. According to reports, there are multiple benefits of adopting 3D printing over traditional manufacturing as it saves time and avoids capital expenditure.
Why 3D Printing?.
Currently, the process of developing a consumer product requires a special mould in order to cast the shape of the desired product design. The mould itself costs thousands of dollars, making it highly expensive for small and medium businesses. Moreover, Businesses have to create a prototype to market test the product, which eventually becomes a sunk cost for them. If the product has some flaws or has received customer feedback and requires the design to be changed, the business once again creates a new mould for the next prototype.
Companies are utilizing 3D printing for on-demand purposes which includes creating custom clothes or products tailored to consumer specifications. 3D printing technology is not only bound to the manufacturing units but can also be placed in retail shops which could transform the way we shop.
Instead of settling down to pre-determined sizes, and settling down to whatever we are getting in terms of shapes and dimensions, the buyer can now dictate precisely how they want their clothes or products to be. From exact fitting to innovative materials, creations can be endless. When the consumer wins, the overall business is improved. It also helps the retail stores to minimize the waste and avoid carrying bulky inventory in the long run.
Benefits and Impacts.
1. Liberty to choose new materials
3D manufacturing delivers the highest value for money when it comes to testing new materials. From ceramics to fabric, there is no obligation of ordering the raw material in higher quantities and can start with the raw-material for as low as a single unit. 3D printing is not a long term strategy for companies right now, though it is an excellent opportunity to test the new concept without investing in a substantial amount of production cost.
2. High-quality Products
Millennial generation hunts for quality products and would not mind paying an extra buck for a quality oriented product. 3D printing helps businesses to offer high-quality products at lower costs. Products like dental braces, satellite parts, children toys, and even real estate buildings have been using 3D printing to make high-quality and top-notch products with ease.
3. Less equipment and more precise development
In a manufacturing plant, it requires ample amount of infrastructure and production space, which increases the capital expenditure fourfold. When weighed in with 3D printing, 3D printing requires a fractional amount of space, needs less equipment, which leads to lower cost of investment, operation, and maintenance
4. Saves Overhead Cost
One of the biggest reasons for the growing adoption of 3D printing is the motive that companies can minimize their overhead costs like rent, electricity, manpower, and more. A large manufacturing plant requires a large space which leads to higher rent, expensive maintenance, and more labor to take care of the manufacturing unit. 3D printing occupies less space, requires less human intervention, and is cheaper to maintain. With the accumulated capital, businesses gain a competitive advantage as their costs become lower in the market, and turnaround time in product delivery is minimized.
5. Reduced Labour
Unlike the traditional manufacturing, 3D Printing is not a labor-intensive business, and majorly all 3D model equipments are 100% computer controlled, and with multiple integrations, companies can take a step in the smart manufacturing arena. The scale of the manufacturing gets reduced, and it requires less number of people to maintain a 3D printing plant. A crucial component of 3D printing includes a collaborative work-style, which means that printers can also be operated remotely, which give corporations a chance to become a global superpower in 3D printing without any location barriers.
6. Enhanced Efficiency
The inequality in the production lines can cause delays in production runs and customer delivery, which leads to increased costs, and agitated customers. Getting a
replacement takes an eternity and tests the patience of the consumer every time. As 3D printer technology advances and the pricing becomes more economical and reliable, it will be easy to replace a faulty component and will allow organizations to focus on the essential business operations.
3D printing completely transforms the manufacturing and is here to offer businesses the required competitive advantage and a chance to be more consumer-centric. When companies can produce two times faster, reduce the cost of production as well as save enormous capital in production-runs, efficiency and productivity are bound to surge.
3D Printing Materials
In the world of 3D printing materials, you have a range of materials available depending on the application, design, and function of your component or the finished product. To navigate your search regarding the perfect 3D printing material guide, below we have compiled a brief of the top materials used in 3D printing, their properties and the possible 3D printing technology it can be integrated with.
1. 3D Printing Materials: Plastic
3D printing is flooded by consumer products and is led by thermoplastics. 3D printing guide consists of thermoplastics which are preferred by designers and engineers due to the reason of functional prototypes can be made by injection moulding.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
ABS is a lightweight yet robust and affordable filament which comes in a variety of colors. ABS is 3D printed at 220 degrees to 250 degrees, and it’s recommended to use heated printing bed on a safer side. It is also advised to store ABS filament in vacuum bags or containers as humidity can degrade the quality of the filament. It can be used in FDM, SLA and Binder Jetting Printer. It is somewhat flexible, and it’s quite strong.
Aluminides comes from the family of Nylon combined with aluminum molecules and are very similar to nylon as the material itself. It is durable and has an excellent surface finish, though it is not preferred for an object which requires long term usage.
Alumide is generally used for post-processing techniques like polishing for coating. It can be used within SLS 3D printer, the material is heat resistant and high resolution.
2. 3D Printing Materials: Metals
Metal is an essential material in the 3D printing world and is very popular in automobile, medical, and aerospace industries due to the ability to design complicated and intricate designs. It requires expertise in terms of engineering and composition to handle a varied range of materials as compared to thermoplastics.
If you’re dealing with metal as your primary material, it is highly recommended to get a workshop which can handle high temperatures.
Aluminum is an ultra-lightweight 3D printing material which can handle complex geometrical designs and is highly resistant to hot temperatures and mechanical stress. Aluminum allows creating low-cost prototypes in the automobile and aerospace industries, which can save a lot on capital expenditure and minimize the expenditure of building a proof of concept for a new design. It can be used with Binder Jetting 3D printer, and the material is corrosion resistant in nature.
Cobalt chromium is a high-performance 3D printing material also known as Super Alloy. It is used for large objects like turbine and airplane engines due to its excellent strength, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature suitability. It can be used with SLM 3D printers and is a biocompatible and alow conductivity material