Looking at the present scenario, 3D printing technology comes off as a technology reserved for tech geeks and is considered a luxury item. For a long time, the commercial application of 3D printing technology has been widely limited to prototype developments. But now, things are starting to change as 3D printing technology is going mainstream, leading to a revolution in the manufacturing industry. As the cost continues to plummet with significant improvements in technology and quality, 3D printing technology becomes feasible to the majority of the organization for mass production. Here are some of the application areas of 3D printing that can change the landscape of industrial manufacturing:
3D Printing Technology in the Manufacturing Industry
True Rapid Prototyping
Although 3D printing technology has recently received a lot of attention from the press for product prototyping, it has been around for a long time. But the process of rapid prototyping has been anything but rapid, as it takes a lot of time and resources to create even a single piece. With breakthroughs in automation and advancements in technology including CNC machines, silicone casting, SLA, and FDM printing techniques, the product development cycle has reduced significantly.
Companies often opt for mass production to gain economies of scale and keep the product cost low. Product customization is expensive and usually reserved for customers with an ability to pay a premium. 3D printing aims to remove this barrier with mass customization at a reasonable cost. For instance, 3D printers can be used to design a perfect replica of the actual knee and print it for use in knee replacement surgeries.
Low Volume Production
The concept of the minimum order quantity (MOQ) arose due to minimum order stipulations placed by suppliers manufacturing in large volumes. For instance, creating a mold might cost $10,000 with a $1 price for each incremental part, making the total price for the first part $10,001. If the requirement is only for a few parts, then it wouldn’t make economic sense to manufacture it for such low volumes. Today, companies opt for 3D printing for manufacturing parts and products at low volumes.
To know more about how 3D printing can revolutionize the manufacturing industry and how your company can use 3D printers: