The possibilities of the 3D printer shorten the design-to-market cycle significantly. In the old days, it was only possible to prototype a design with high costs and sacrifice in quality. Often the turn time on a prototype was long, requiring overseas coordination and costly investments in materials that might not even be used in the final assembly or construction. Working across countries and continents can be very difficult, problems related to dealing with language barriers, issues with international shipping, duties and taxation, and even when those issues are not in play can extend the time from ideation to product creation significantly.
Accepting the concept that 3D printing can shorten the lifecycle of a product and reduce the overall costs involved with growing an idea to a created product, the next question becomes how to best harness the power of 3D printing. Should your research and development or in-house manufacturing team procure a 3D printer for your shop, hold it in house and begin to accumulate the knowledge of CAD and other software to properly design the product to be printed? Should your procurement team become responsible for maintaining the stock of raw materials that your 3D printer needs to operate? Should your information technology team be required to maintain and manage the security and operations of the 3D printer?
Bringing 3D printing in house, no matter how attractive this sounds to the research and development team, represents a significant increase in expense, responsibility of multiple departments that represent soft costs and potentially does not increase the time to market when raw materials management is not handled properly. Partnering with a professional and high quality 3D printing organization that handles all aspects of management for you is a much more affordable way to take advantage of the flexibility that a 3D printer offers, without the costs associated with a 3D printer!
As 3D printing is a rapidly changing technology niche at the moment, there are very good reasons to avoid investing in the capital costs of an onsite 3D printer. The costs of software, knowledge development, and the management overhead soft costs make partnering with a superior, professional 3D printing operation a great win!
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Company Name: Anubis
Contact Person: Mona Louca