In 2013, Quantel, an international powerhouse in both content creation and delivery systems for television and film, purchased a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus 3D Printer to integrate into its production systems. They will be using this printer to create casings, hinges, and other integral parts of the systems that they deliver to broadcasters such as the BBC and Fox as well as movie studios is LA, New York, London, and Tokyo. David Throup, with Quantel’s research department discussed the decision to purchase a 3D printer and make it a regular part of Quantel’s workflow:
“We’d determined that we needed to improve turnaround in our prototype process and decided that a 3D printer would make the biggest impact. Having reviewed the various options available, we selected the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus as it was able to meet the performance requirements we needed at the right price. It was the best fit for our needs.”
After six months in operation, Thorp says that the printer has virtually paid for itself. He doesn’t mean that they are using it to create 3D printed credit cards. Instead, he explained:
“We can now go from concept to a physical object in a day. Previously we outsourced our prototyping and it would have taken approximately 10 days and cost us many hundreds of pounds. We’ve saved a lot of money and time by removing the need to outsource prototyping. The printer creates the same prototypes in just hours – and at a faction of the cost. The Stratasys printer effectively paid for itself within six months.”
There is clear cost savings and, if time is money, it’s doubled by the rapid fire way that the printer allows for iterative prototyping and final production. Having this type of technology in house has not only saved the company money and time; it has allowed them to be more innovative as well.
More and more companies are finding that the relatively modest up front expense of purchasing a 3D printer is more than offset by the advantages it offers in a variety of ways. Even those who cannot afford to purchase an in house printer are able to access the revolution in design and production by using one of the many 3D printing providers, such as Shapeways, that have begun to spring up around the world. David Moore, an analyst at SMG3D – the company from which Quantel purchased its printer – raved about the benefits of having access to 3D printing technology:
“Since the creation of our 3D division in 2011, we have been able to provide companies with the equipment to fundamentally change the way they work. As proven at Quantel, these printers can save companies an enormous amount of both time and money and prove to be invaluable.”
How many other aspects of business have that kind of glowing report? It’s safe to say that the 3D printer is truly a remarkable addition to the modern workplace…and that workplace’s bank account. Have you or your company experienced similar time and cost savings with 3D printing? Discuss this story in the Quantel 3D printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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