3D printing has revolutionized the way things are made
It may surprise you to know how much time and effort once went into designing everyday products that we take for granted. Items as common as the handle and body of a household vacuum cleaner took years of testing and hundreds of thousands of dollars of trial and error to complete. In the automotive industry, models were once painstakingly sculpted by clay. Even a cooler once had to be hand carved.
Plus, with traditional prototyping, when a machine shop returns the prototype, if you discover that you need to make a tweak to the design, you have to start all over at square one.
Prototyping with 3D Printers
With 3D printing, on the other hand, you can create workable prototypes from a wide variety of materials for a fraction of the time and money. The 3D design process is so flexible that, if you print one prototype and realize that you need to make a change, you can simply tweak the design and reprint your object.
3D printing has done more to speed up innovation, design and customization than any invention before it.
With a variety of materials available, it is possible to use a 3D printer for actual part manufacturing. This is particularly useful for small runs of parts, typically less than 5,000 pieces. Printing small runs can save a huge amount of money compared to setting up a line for traditional manufacturing.
Printers are also great for creating replacement parts. One hospital was able to save $60,000 in just one quarter by printing their own cable tethers; the automobile industry uses 3D printers to create custom tools; and virtually every airplane in the sky has some 3D printed component.
From architects to furniture designers, it can be difficult to fully convey your vision to a client with just blueprints or sketches. A 3D printer is a clearly illustrates your idea by allowing your client to hold the design in their hand.
To find out more about putting 3D printing to work for your organization, contact us at Spectra3D