As a writer who is deeply immersed in the 3D printing industry, I constantly find satisfaction in discovering which new companies are utilizing this disruptive and potentially revolutionary manufacturing technology. It’s evident that, for a number of different industries, 3D printing technology has become a key manufacturing strategy. But, in order to truly maximize the benefits that come from implementing additive manufacturing into your business model, it’s critical that the technology is integrated into the company in an effective manner.
Recently, France-based 3D printing service bureau Sculpteo published a new blog detailing five tips for companies to maximize their return on investment (ROI) when using 3D printing technology. After conferring with a group of professional respondents, Sculpteo found that 47% of them named the acceleration of product development as a top priority. In regard to prototyping, 3D printing technology has been a revelation, allowing companies to take quick and efficient steps to modify and adapt their 3D models. The acceleration of product development that 3D printing promotes is extremely cost-effective as well, making it advantageous for established companies and startups alike.
In order to effectively implement 3D printing into your business model, these companies must employ someone with experience and skills in CAD software. Once that is accomplished, they can either invest in their own 3D printing technology or turn to a 3D printing service such as Sculpteo, i.materialise, or Shapeways. When using a 3D printing service to prototype, companies should expect the process to take about nine days, considering that the design must be created, 3D printed by the service bureau, and then possibly modified and updated after the fact.
Another way to maximize ROI with 3D printing is to utilize it for customized production and limited series manufacturing. According to Sculpteo, 33% of their respondents have considered this to be one of the primary benefits of 3D printing technology. Whether you’re 3D printing 100 of the same exact part or 100 different customized parts, the time and cost will remain the same, making 3D printing technology an ideal tool for those looking to create a limited series of personalized products or parts.
The next tip offered by Sculpteo is to increase production flexibility, which 20% of the professional respondents claimed was a key aspect to 3D printing technology. Although that percentage isn’t extremely satisfying, an increasing number (27%) of the respondents believe this will become a key factor by 2020. Essentially, 3D printing enables flexibility because of its on-demand nature, which allows companies to produce orders on the spot, instead of becoming overloaded with pre-produced stock.
In addition, 15% of the professionals expect to utilize 3D printing technology to optimize demo product expenses. With 3D printing, companies are able to create a more legitimate demo product at a lower cost, ultimately creating a replica of the final product, which will compel their customers to purchase their item. Lastly, 13% of the professional respondents believe that 3D printing is helping to decrease their tooling investment. Instead of creating specific tooling to produce each product, which is done during traditional manufacturing processes, 3D printing eliminates the need for any molds or tooling. Again, this is especially useful for those producing limited or medium series products. With 3D printing, all that’s needed to produce the object is a high-caliber 3D model.
Once again, the 3D printing service bureau has provided sound advice to help make 3D printing technology a more affordable and profitable endeavor for everyone involved. Whether they’re breaking down the inner workings of the market in their “State of 3D Printing” industry report, explaining the important questions that companies should ask before committing to 3D printing, or even unveiling frugal features to help make their own services cheaper, it’s evident that Sculpteo wants to enhance the 3D printing experience for us all. With their latest collection of tips to help companies maximize their ROI from 3D printing, the 3D printing service bureau wants to ensure that any venture into additive manufacturing ends up a successful one. Are tips like this helpful to you regarding your ROI? Let’s discuss over in the Sculpteo 3D Printing Tips for Better ROI forum at 3DPB.com.