The progress in technology has brought 3D printing in the industry. 3D printing is not just any ordinary printing technology because it produces three-dimensional objects that are exciting, fun and of course, useful.
3D printing is anywhere. It is used in the packaging industry, automotive industry, aircraft and health care. To better understand the power of 3D printing, here’s a list of the benefits of 3D printing.
- More Affordable – The traditional ways of prototyping injection mold tools and production runs are expensive. The best 3D printer offers more affordable options to create parts and tools through additive manufacturing at rates much cheaper than traditional machining. Take for example, in the medical field, 3D printing surgical tools like clamps, forceps, hemostats and scalpel handles are much cheaper than buying the stainless steel counterpart.
In addition, 3D printing prosthetics are low-cost compared to the traditional ones. Prosthetic for certain parts of the body like hands are subject to so much wear and tear that producing it may reach up to $ 10,000, which is quite expensive. For young children, who can outgrow their prosthetic limbs in just a few months, the traditional method is costly and not practical. However, with 3D printing, customization is easy, so getting a new one will only cost a few hundred dollars. In general, 3D printing is more affordable.
- Mitigate Risk – If you are building a project, you can 3D print a test prototype first before investing in an expensive molding tool. In this way, you can redesign it or alter the existing mold if necessary. Printing a production-ready prototype builds confidence before making large investments.
- Quick Production – Traditional prototype manufacturing requires tooling and machining. You have to pay individuals for their labor and have to purchase expensive equipment. The whole process may take weeks. The worse part, your first prototype is never your last, you have to redesign it and experience the same struggle again. It is difficult to build a good business with traditional prototyping because so much time is wasted. Everyone from CEO to the client gets frustrated every time he waits for the designs to be prototyped.
However, 3D printing will only take hours. When the designer is done with the design, you can convert it to a file readable by the printer and print it. The process needs no intervention. If you build it at the end of the day, you can expect it the next morning. No one will be waiting and products can be marketed faster. Also redesigning your prototypes can be done quickly. The whole process will not even take a week. There will be quicker turnarounds and more productivity. What took months before will only be a matter of days with 3D printing.
- Easy to Customize – Industries use mass-production to manufacture their products. This means that all products use the same mold and will come out with similar shape and design from the assembly line, which makes it difficult for one to be unique. However, with 3D printing, you can personalize anything by tweaking a part of the prototype, so it can cater your needs. For instance, customizing 3D prints are used in medical and dental industries. 3D printing offers the user the freedom to personalize anything without additional cost. In this way, people can set themselves apart when it comes to fashion or jewelry.
- Tool-less – In the traditional industrial manufacturing, production of the tools takes time, labor and cost. However, for low to medium volume applications in industrial 3D printing, this can be eliminated, thereby saving cost, time and labor. This is one of the benefits that most manufacturers are taking advantage.
- Producing New Shapes And Structure Is Easy – The traditional manufacturing method relies on mold and cutting technologies to produce the shape they desired. Before, adding holes that change direction, unrealistic overhangs or square interior cavities are difficult to achieve, but with 3D printing, these changes are easy to do. The 3D printer’s nozzle can build infinite shapes and complex figures. This feature gives 3D printing a higher structural integrity. In fact, 3D printing has been used to produce medical ambien implants that resemble bones, skulls, aerodynamic parts and unique-shaped furniture and jewelry. With 3D printing, the possibilities are endless. The only limitation is one’s imagination.
- Diverse Material – Mixing raw materials is not ideal for mass-production methods because it can be costly. In addition, the physical and chemical properties are difficult to combine in the traditional methods. However, 3D printing continues to progress in this area. In fact, from using plastics, 3D printing is now compatible with a variety of material including metals, glass, ceramics, gold, silver, paper, biomaterials and even food. With various materials at hand, you can achieve anything you have in mind with 3D printing.
- Better Quality – If you bake a cake and follow the recipe, you will end up with a delicious cake. However, if you are new to baking, your cake may taste amazing, but it may have unwanted air bubbles, a different texture, and thickness. If you could assemble the cake layer by layer, similar to how additive manufacturing in 3D printing works; you will have full control of its appearance.
Getting rid of the mass manufacturing faults will produce better quality products. While this may not sound profitable to manufacturers, it’s a major advantage to the end consumer.
- Environmentally Friendly – One of the things that the industries should consider is sustainability. 3D printing is energy-efficient and produces lesser waste. For instance, aircraft makers junked 90 percent of their materials because it’s no longer useful. With additive manufacturing used in 3D printing, it will use lesser energy and waste will be reduced to a minimum. The 3D printed object is 60 percent lighter but solid and sturdy. The lesser the waste, the lower the impact on the environment.
- Accessibility – More and more people are getting access to 3D printing. In fact, there are 3D printing pens that can produce the same results as that of the 3D printer, only which, the user will have to maneuver the nozzle with his own hands. With this progress, many will be able to create the product they need, when they need it and wherever they are. This scenario can surely shake up the current consumerism ideology. If you support 3D printing, you would probably love easier access to it.
3D printing is so powerful that it can create almost anything. From food, clothing, houses to organ tissues and cells. Moreover, 3D printing technology is better, cheaper, faster, more flexible and more sustainable.