At Re3DTech, we’re committed to helping our customers better understand additive manufacturing. We use our LAYER3D blog to peel back the layers of the 3D printing industry and explore all topics relating to this incredible technology.
Since its inception in the 1980s, 3D printing has traditionally been used for prototyping purposes. Now, thanks to recent advancements in industrial 3D printing technologies, it’s possible to use 3D printing services for production quantities as well.
But what happens when you need quantities that are higher than a single prototype and lower than mass production volumes? This scenario is common when customers have a completed 3D printed prototype but are stuck waiting 4-5 months for tooling to come in for injection molding.
If you need to fill a gap between rapid prototyping and mass production, you could rely on CNC machining, silicone molds, or soft tooling in the interim. But these solutions can be time-consuming and expensive. You’ll probably need up to 10,000 units to justify the cost.
Instead, consider relying on 3D printing for an innovative solution known as bridge manufacturing.
Why Use 3D Printing Services for Bridge Manufacturing?
As its name suggests, bridge manufacturing (also known as bridge production) provides a “bridge” between prototyping and mass production. This low-volume manufacturing solution is ideal if you want to:
- Go to market faster. Depending on your product and industry, competition may be steep. Bridge production can help you get ahead of the competition by going to market with a new product in just weeks instead of months.
- Get customer feedback. It’s impossible to have comprehensive insight into your product until it’s in your customer’s hands. Bridge production allows you to get products to customers faster and with lower risk involved. If you receive critical feedback about your product, you can make changes to your tooling before it’s complete.
- Deploy your latest and greatest product revisions. With bridge production, you have the opportunity to solve problems as they occur and get your solutions onto the production line quickly. You can continue sending out improved versions of your product while you wait for tooling to come in.
- Be agile. 3D printing is so fast and easy that you can be flexible with order quantities. If you need more products to bridge the gap than you initially anticipated, simply order additional batches and have them within weeks.
Is Bridge Manufacturing the Right Solution for You?
If you’re interested in bridge manufacturing, the industrial 3D printing experts at Re3DTech can help you determine if it’s the right solution for you.
We’ll want to understand more about your application, properties, and timeline. We’ll also need to make sure we have the right materials and technologies to make the part fully functional and as close to the end use product as possible.
As a customer-focused company, we’ll never recommend a solution that isn’t in your best interest.
If there’s little value for you in coming to market faster, receiving feedback from customers, and getting ahead of the competition, bridge manufacturing probably isn’t necessary. But if getting products into your customers’ hands in 4 weeks instead of 3 months can give you the edge you need, bridge manufacturing can be incredibly valuable.Contact us today and let’s discuss your manufacturing needs!
At Re3dTech, we believe that 3D printing will repatriate and revitalize our manufacturing industry – and is the future of American manufacturing! RE3DTECH provides 3D printing and contract manufacturing services with a commitment to quality, speed, and customer service. We supply thousands of parts to customers every week in industries including Healthcare, Automotive, and Aerospace. It is our mission to provide a custom solution to our customers’ needs.
Leveraging our production additive manufacturing technologies, we have the in-house expertise and capabilities to help lead your company down the path of additive. Take advantage of the advances in 3D printing to improve your manufacturing - contact us today to see how we can help!