5 Ways 3D Printers Can Help Your Company Stay Ahead

4 Mins read
investing in 3D printers
Above: BMW to use 3D printing for automotive series production under IDAM project/Image Credit: BMW Group

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the manufacturing technology of the present and future. If you are not leveraging it then you are losing out big time. Though the technology is still not completely matured, but the time is right for companies to start exploring its potential and benefit from it. There are multiple ways 3D printers can help your company get ahead of the competition.

If you are still not familiar about how 3D printers can help you, then you definitely need to read the ways 3D printers can help your company get ahead.

You Can Develop Prototypes Quickly

If you have an established company, and you want to add some new products to what you already make, in the past, you would have to create a prototype from scratch. That would consume some time, and your R&D department might take weeks or even months to get one up and running.

That is no longer the case with 3D printing available. You can program a 3D printer to create a new product based on a design you’ve developed. 3D printing uses computer control protocols. You can come up with the prototype much faster than you once could, and you can modify and alter it if it doesn’t look like you’d hoped.

You can also see a preview of what the final product will resemble. Based on what the 3D printer creates, you can decide whether the design you have come up with is workable or whether you have to scrap it and go back to the drawing board.

You Can Automate Your Company’s Workflows

MES Software for 3D Printing
Above: L’Oréal employee checks the 3D printed part/Image Source: L’Oréal

Today, automation is penetrating every sphere of business. And 3D printing is changing how we can automate manufacturing workflows. Automating workflows with vision system solutions is always an option. This is one important way 3D printers can help your company stay ahead of the competition.

You’re essentially combining the basic 3D printing concept with surface and print inspection. You’re using your 3D printers to create products, and then you’re using an automated assembly line system to check the products before you get them ready to sell.

You can use the 3D printers, coupled with your vision system solutions, to speed up your creation process. If you’re using repetitive design principles to mass-produce an item or a line of items, you should be able to create, package, and ship them a lot faster than you once could.

You’ll Need Less Equipment

Many times, manufacturing can take up a lot of space. You need a complicated assembly line and the trained individuals to operate it. If you want to find a solution to this issue, then you need to incorporate 3D printing into your manufacturing workflow. 3D printers can help your company get ahead of the competition and help you stay lean.

That is not so much the case if you have a few 3D printers instead. You will need much less floor space to house your manufacturing line. You can actually have a much smaller space that still produces more and better products than conventional manufacturing.

If you need less equipment, you need less space, and renting or buying it will cost you less money. It’s not inconceivable that you might produce products out of a garage or an equally small locale.

You’ll Ease Your Product into Market

Bridge Manufacturing Workflow & Ways 3D Printers Can Help Your Company Get Ahead
Above: Bridge Manufacturing Workflow/Image Source: Zortrax

3D printers are not a mass production tool and so many companies are still not bullish on buying a 3D printer. But imagine the competition in the market today and so if you want to introduce a product to market faster, you’ll need to mass produce it right from its inception.

But again, the problem arises about the reception of the product by customers. Being a decent sized company, you are not always at the liberty to gamble your resources on an untested product.

3D printers are the best bet for you to compete with market leaders. With 3D printing you can get your products manufactured faster in smaller batches. This way you can introduce them to the market, test them, analyse the response and accordingly take a decision on its scale.

If the product is good, then use 3D printers to satisfy urgent demands while at the backend, you develop the tooling and mass produce it. If the product is not good, then you can scrap it but you would not have invested in the costly tooling and manufacturing line setup process. Both ways, you win.

You’ll Need Fewer Employees

In the past, you would need many individuals to help you run a manufacturing plant. You would require them to stand at each station to make sure the product was perfect at each stage of the trip from inception to completion.

You don’t need that with 3D printers. You can run a very large operation with a skeleton crew. That means you can save an important component of your fixed. You can put that money toward marketing, new product development, R&D, more assets, or anything else.

With 3D printing, you get a streamlined workflow, and you can increase your profit margins. Many industries are just starting to see what this technology can do for them.

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Visit our 3D Printing Education page to read more such informative articles. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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