Not all goods and parts can or should be 3D printed, but 3D printing provides many benefits throughout the production process. As displayed in the accompanying infographic, 3D printing applications are generally used for proof of concept models, prototyping, product development, and some production.
The benefits of 3D printing include:
3D printed applications spare time because they are used for proof of concept models to verify the testing, fit and functionality of pieces before being injection molded. This method speeds up the overall manufacturing cycle and gets products to market quicker.
Production of parts on-demand via 3D printing guarantees product availability and offers possibilities for customization that traditional methods do not. Running small batches on demand lets manufacturers launch new products more often. Low-volume production increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, which supports the growth of the business.
3D printed parts can be used as a fully functional prototype, changes and errors can easily be made in the design phase – which means mistakes are identified when it is less expensive before moving those parts into the production stage.
It provides for a hands-on physical product to critique, to get your product to look and feel the way you want it and receive detailed feedback to help guarantee your product’s success.
While manufacturers will not substitute the entire production process with 3D printing, 3D printing can play an influential role. Companies should determine which parts and applications are best suited to this new technology, and fit 3D printing into their overall production to continue to be competitive.
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