There is a long-standing myth that 3D printing is only suitable for prototyping and that additive manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, are not suitable for production. However, due to recent advances in build rates and quality control, 3D printing for production is rapidly being adopted by many manufacturing processes worldwide. More and more manufacturers are viewing 3D printing as a viable option for producing quality parts that are just as capable as machined or molded parts. Additionally, industrial 3D printing has not only proven itself capable for production, it is competing with traditional manufacturing methods as a cost-effective solution for low, medium and even large-scale production volumes!
3D printers have demonstrated they are suitable for large scale production, especially when the product is suitable for 3D printing – let me explain. Priorities and requirements differ significantly from application to application. For example, the degree of complexity and customization required by manufacturers has a very broad range. Part requirements such as intricate details and custom shaping are areas where 3D printing adds significant value and sets itself apart from traditional production methods. Below are some manufacturing scenarios that make 3D printing the optimal solution for production.
- High Complexity: the Achilles heel of traditional manufacturing is part complexity – these technologies struggle with extremely complex components and tooling fabrication costs quickly escalate as complexity increases. The good news is that complexity is free with 3D printing - making 3D printing is an excellent solution for production involving very complex parts!
- High Degree of Design Freedom: with 3D printers, designers can create new and innovative solutions without constraint! One of the big benefits of 3D printing is its ability to produce nearly any geometrical shape the designer can create as well as many surface textures that traditional manufacturing methods struggle with. 3D printing also provides unparalleled design freedom when it comes to materials including some plastics and metals that are specifically used for 3D printing technologies.
- High Level of Customization: it is no secret that companies and consumers are wanting more and more product customization. 3D printing allows companies to design and manufacture endless levels of customization! Since 3D printing requires no equipment or tooling changes in between product runs, manufacturers can easily modify a design electronically to add additional customization with no lost production time – a win for both the customer and the manufacturer!
- Quick Time to Market: 3D printing is often compared to injection molding even though the design and production cycles as well as the overall time to market are vastly different for these methods. For example, injection molding often takes ~3-4 months for tooling fabrication whereas 3D printing production can start right away since only an electronic design is needed. Additionally, production changes occur instantly with 3D printing whereas tooling modifications often take weeks for injection molding. 3D printing also allows designers to combine parts to cut down on assembly time, further reducing the time to market. It is safe to say that 3D printing minimizes the time to market and increases the speed of delivery – and faster manufacturing results in happy customers and lower production costs! 3D printing is the preferred production method when a fast time to market and quick product changes are critical.
At Re3dTech, we believe that 3D printing will repatriate and revitalize our manufacturing industry – and is the future of American manufacturing! By moving from mass production to mass customization, Re3dTech will play a major role in providing industrial grade 3D printing services, access and capacity at the point of need. Helping our customers move their manufacturing from overseas centralized production centers, to local on-demand manufacturing and parts production, resulting in no warehousing needs.
Furthermore, by using the latest 3D printing technologies, Re3dTech is moving past prototyping to true end use parts production. Below are some details about the Jet Fusion 5200, one of our 3D printers for medium and large scale production.
- HP introduced The Jet Fusion 5200, designed for large-scale manufacturing, in May of 2019.
- Re3dTech was the first company in the United States to purchase this breakthrough technology, knowing that it would have an immediate impact for high volume manufacturing.
- Utilizing the new HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D Printing Solution, we aim to unleash new growth applications, and scale production with HP’s most advanced plastics 3D printing solution.
- This printer provides quality—from fine detail and sharp edges to textures—and optimal yield at industrial-level OEE. Also, it produces functional parts with best-in-class isotropy.
Leverage the advances in 3D printing technology to improve your manufacturing - contact us today to see how we can help!