3D printing is a near-unknown manufacturing method for many people. The technology is relatively recent compared to machining or casting. It has spent most of its existence confined to university labs and company prototyping offices and the recent move to private and commercial use often seems focused on its hobbyist novelty.
However, 3D printing is a technology with amazing and very practical uses. It can be a great asset to any project and offers businesses and individuals options not found using any other manufacturing method, especially economically. JawsTec, an online 3D Printing Service provider, put together what they believe to be the top 6 advantages of 3D printing:
3D printing has much lower labor and set up costs than any other form of manufacturing. There is no need for expensive and skilled machine operators. The only really necessary labor is a single individual to upload a CAD design to the 3D printer, ensure the correct materials are loaded, press a button to start the printing process, and then post-process the printed product(s). The bulk of the work is done in designing the CAD file, which is something any individual can do on any modern computer.
2. Fast production
3D printing works fast, usually producing products within a handful of hours. This is especially useful for custom products or prototyping. The speed at which 3D printing works allows for new ideas to quickly be incorporated into a design. For prototyping, this means that testing can be done very more rapidly than if the prototype is produced in another way, speeding up the product’s test phase.
3. Increased Quality
3D printing is a highly consistent process. A printer will produce the exact same design every single time the same CAD file and materials are used with little to no variation. This means that manufacturing flaws are negligible and often nonexistent, upping product quality and reducing the potential for returns or physical issues.
4. Reduced Risk for Prototyping
Faulty prototypes can be the bane of a project, draining the budget with zero benefit. Because a 3D printed prototype design is made digitally first, it can be checked over before ever becoming a physical (and costly) reality. The speed and cheap labor costs of 3D printing also mean that when a prototype does have an issue, it has a fairly low financial impact. 3D printing can be used to create a prototype instead of going right to more costly manufacturing methods that need to be used for the final product.
5. Highly Customizable
With 3D printing, the sky’s the limit for creativity. Weird angles, shapes, and gaps that are often difficult for other manufacturing methods are simple to produce with a 3D printer. Programs used for 3D printing CAD file design perform checks and make modifications to ensure structural stability. The challenge with 3D printing is maximizing material efficiency with a design, which often enables creativity rather than hinders it.
Unlike more traditional manufacturing methods, there is very little wasted material in 3D printing. The only material used to print is the material needed for the design on any supports required. Any material not needed with the final product can often be recycled and used for another print run. This lack of waste both saves money and leaves less of an environmental impact.
The experienced staff at JawsTec use their knowledge and some of the latest 3D printing technology to make the most of the advantages of 3D printing. From the earliest design concepts to the last stages of post-processing, they can help use 3D printing to take customer’s projects or products to the next level. Contact their team today for a 3D print quote!