AMS Spring 2023

The Advantages of 3D Printing

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Complex and interesting designs can be produced by some 3D printing technologies

In recent years, 3D printers have taken the manufacturing industry by storm. From automobiles to computer parts, products made by 3D printers have undoubtedly played a big role in the lives of many today. 3D printing is the process of using a digital drawing to make a 3D product. 3D printers achieve this by using a process called additive manufacturing. Compared to CNC machining, which uses subtractive manufacturing, additive manufacturing adds material in layers until the product is complete. Having access to a 3D printer poses many benefits for major companies and citizens alike. As it continues to grow, 3D printers are destined to play a major role in the way everyone lives their daily lives in the future.

Speed

One of the biggest advantages of 3D printers is reduced the amount of time it takes to create a product. Before the mass inclusion of 3D printers in manufacturing, R&D teams would have to make several prototypes before mass-producing a product. Nowadays, a prototype can be made using a 3D printer and easily updated in the computer to print again. Complex designs can be uploaded from a CAD model and printed in a few hours. The advantage of this is the rapid verification and development of design ideas. What used to take several months now takes much less time. 

Low Costs of manufacturing

From purchasing to printing, the entire process is very cost-effective. Material prices for 3D printers tend to vary but for the most part, are pretty cheap. Additive manufacturing at low volumes is very competitively costed compared to traditional manufacturing. For the production of prototypes that verify form and fit, it is significantly cheaper than other alternative manufacturing methods (e.g. injection molding) and is often competitive for manufacturing one-off functional parts. Traditional manufacturing techniques become more cost-effective as volume increases and the high setup costs are justified by the large volumes of production.

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Risk Mitigation

Using a 3D printer can cut down on the amount of risk-taking during the manufacturing process. Even if a manufacturing company doesn’t plan to mass manufacture a part with a 3D printer they are still useful in other ways. 3D printers allow you to print a prototype ahead of time before involving other equipment such as CNC machining or traditional machines. This helps build confidence in the design at hand while cutting down on the amount of risk. 

Customizable 3D Printed headphones designed by Print+

3D Hubs 3D Printing Service

3D printer ownership has grown to the point where companies that don’t have this technology are in the minority. Even with 3D printers being more accessible than ever, some companies just can’t purchase a 3D printer for various reasons. A 3D printing service such as 3D Hubs offers an alternative to owning a 3D printer. 3D Hubs is a company that specializes in making CNC machining and 3D printed parts. Founded in 2013, the 3D printing services has produced and shipped over 3 million parts worldwide. The process is quick, easy, and affordable. Make sure to visit there website for more details.

 

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