3D printing has come along way since the early additive manufacturing days, which dates all the way back to 1981! and we are starting to see a real interest from small to medium sized companies asking how they can integrate this “new” technology in to their business.
So to answer that question clearly – here is our list of 3 ways you can start using 3D printing today.
1. New product design – Before there is 3D printing, there is of course, 3D design. This process enables you to visualise your ideas. Bringing these ideas to life, off paper and on to the screen in 3D, allowing them to be easily manipulated and adapted to your vision. A 3D printing company can do this for you without the tie in of going to print, and is one of the simplest ways you can use 3D design (albeit without the printing).
2. Product Evolution/prototyping – If your designers and developers want to explore new products, control those products and get them just right for production, you are likely to be footing a hefty bill when it comes to the first, second and 10th prototype (depending on your material of choice this can easily be in the £10,000’s). 3D printing can take those designs and print them in a matter of hours or days and give you a working prototype which doesn’t cost the earth. This will allow you to make those changes cost effective.
3. Just In Time Production – Product demand comes and goes – and with manufacturing costs eating in to your bottom line, it is usual to manufacture high numbers of units to make the process cost effective. This in turn can mean that you have high levels of stock. 3D printing allows you to produce your items/products/units “just in time” which reduces your stock levels and allows you to manage your ordering process efficiently. This option of using 3D printing doesn’t need to be linked to a new product or design and is something you could implement today.
If you want to talk to us about any of the options above or discuss other ways you think your business could use 3D printing, please get in touch.