3D printing started as a niche service but is now predicted to one day revolutionize the world of production. It may unlikely replace many traditional manufacturing methods yet, but there are a lot of applications where a 3D printer is able to deliver a design quickly with high accuracy from a functional material.
Today, we are going to discuss the benefits of 3D printing. Understanding its advantages will be able to help you and other designers in making better decisions when choosing a manufacturing process. Aside from that, this will also enable you to deliver an optimal product.
3D printing technology can provide a lot of benefits for both individuals and businesses alike. Here are some of the significant benefits that 3D printing can provide:
1. Faster Production
Compared to conventional manufacturing such as injection molds and subtractive production, 3D printing is quicker. It’s like comparing the speed of a sports car to the speed of a horse cart. Both of these modes of transportation will reach their destination, but their time differences are significantly huge. 3D printing tests ideas and designs quickly, from a prototype to a final product.
When you have a faster design and prototype production, this means you will have more time to iterate the prototype and final product market fit before your competitors. This is because 3D printing takes only hours while conventional manufacturing methods take up days and even weeks to finish.
When it comes to developing a prototype, pattern, or a model, labor costs play a huge role in determining the amount of money to be spent. It’s because traditional prototyping processes are costly and they require a lot of human labor. You will be needing experienced machine operators and use expensive machinery as well. But 3D printing eliminates these needs because, with it, labor can be as little as one person issuing a print command.
3. Creative Designs and Customization Freedom
Traditional manufacturing techniques are good at creating millions of copies of the same product. However, this results in the same dull and boring designs and it does not have the capacity to be improved much and creating unique designs with these techniques is difficult.
3D printing, on the other hand, will allow you endless personalization. This will help you accommodate personal touches that are requested by your customers or your personal preferences as well. The only limitation in creating designs using 3D printing is your imagination. For example, if you’re a dentist, with a 3D printer, you will be able to create a crown that is precisely engineered to fit someone’s mouth, cutting down the number of visits that a patient needs to make to be able to get a properly fitting crown.
4. Unlimited Shapes and Geometry
Aside from the freedom to customize, 3D printing can also help you in designing geometrically complex shapes which can be difficult to be done with old methods of manufacturing such as those that rely on molds and cutting technologies to produce the desired shapes. 3D printers can easily produce objects that have unique shapes and unusual geometry.
5. Less Waste Production
Other manufacturing processes result in a lot of wasted resources but in 3D printing, it only uses materials that are needed to create a certain object, no more, no less. Reusing the materials from a 3D print is also relatively straight forward, meaning, it creates very little wastes which can help an individual or a company in saving a lot of money.
6. Better Quality
3D printing works through a step-by-step assembly of the objects which can guarantee that you will have enhanced designs and better quality objects. It is better compared to traditional manufacturing methods that can easily result in poor designs and poor quality prototypes.
7. Concrete Design and Product Testing
3D printing offers the benefit of seeing a product on the screen and comparing it to the actual feel of a prototype. It will enable you to experience the touch and feel of the product prototype to physically test it. If you find flaws in the design, or if a problem is found, you can simply modify the CAD file and easily print out a new version the following day.
8. Can Blend Various Raw Materials
In mass manufacturing, it does not support the blending of raw materials because that can be expensive and combining chemical and physical elements can be complicated as well. 3D printing, on the other hand, can easily accommodate a diverse range of raw materials such as glass, paper, metal, silver, biomaterial, ceramics, and more.
9. Easy to Access
3D printing has been around for decades but only took off in 2010. When it became popular, it has also brought easier to use software and hardware to consumers as more competition entered the industry. Today, it is very easy to learn the 3D printing technology and it can also be easily incorporated into the production cycle in just a matter of days.
10. Risk Reduction
The 3D printing technology will allow product designers to verify product prototypes before starting out on large manufacturing investments which can sometimes be disastrous. A good designer should know that proper design verification is essential before investing in an expensive molding tool.
3D printing indeed offers a lot of benefits to individuals and to manufacturing companies as well. It will enable you to turn your concepts into reality faster than you can imagine. With these benefits, this technology is likely to continue transforming every industry, changing the way we live and work in the future.
Are you interested in 3D Printing? Check out some of our great posts covering this amazing technology:
- What is a 3D Printer?
- Top Recommended 3D Printers
- Best Low Cost 3D Printers
- How do 3D Printers Work?
- 3D Printer Science Projects
- Best Home 3D Printers
- History of 3D Printing