3D printers do not manufacture objects by cutting or moulding like traditional manufacturing machines. The method of forming physical objects by building up layers expands the scope of digital concepts from a physical point of view. For shape designs that require precise internal recesses or interlocking parts, 3D printers are the tool of choice to bring such designs to the physical world. Below is a similar description of how people from various industries, with different backgrounds and expertise levels, 3D printing helped them reduce major cost, time and complexity barriers. Let's take a look at the advantages of 3D printing.
By utilizing the layer-by-layer building method, 3D printers offer a unique advantage over traditional manufacturing machines when it comes to shaping designs with intricate internal recesses or interlocking parts. This capability not only reduces protomold cost but also saves time and simplifies the complex manufacturing process, making 3D printing a valuable tool for professionals across different industries and expertise levels. Let's take a look at the advantages of 3D printing.
The advantages of 3D printing are beyond the reach of traditional manufacturing
Advantage 1: 3D printing does not increase the cost of manufacturing complex objects
In terms of traditional manufacturing, the more complex the shape of the object, the higher the manufacturing cost. For 3D printers, the cost of manufacturing complex-shaped objects does not increase, and manufacturing a gorgeous complex-shaped object does not consume more time, skill or cost than printing a simple block.
Manufacturing complex items without increasing costs will disrupt traditional pricing models and change the way we calculate manufacturing costs.
Advantage 2: The diversification of 3D printing products does not increase the cost
A 3D printer can print many shapes, and it can make objects of different shapes every time like a craftsman. Traditional manufacturing equipment has fewer functions and can produce a limited variety of shapes. 3D printing eliminates the cost of training mechanics or acquiring new equipment, a 3D printer only requires a different digital blueprint and a new batch of raw materials.
The versatility of a 3D printer enables it to create objects of various shapes, akin to a skilled craftsman. In contrast, traditional manufacturing equipment is limited in its functionality and can only produce a restricted range of shapes. As a result, 3D printing proves cost-effective by eliminating the need for mechanic training or investing in new equipment, requiring only a different digital blueprint and a fresh batch of raw materials, thereby reducing protomold cost.
Advantage 3: 3D printing does not require assembly
3D printing enables parts to be integrally formed. Traditional mass production is based on assembly lines, where machines produce identical parts in modern factories, which are then assembled by robots or workers (even across continents). The more parts a product has, the more time and cost it takes to assemble. The 3D printer can simultaneously print a door and the matching ammonium chain on it through layered manufacturing without assembly. Omitting assembly shortens the supply chain, saving labor and transportation costs. The shorter the supply chain, the less pollution.
Advantage 4: 3D printing zero-time delivery
3D printers can print on demand. Just-in-time production reduces the physical inventory of enterprises, and enterprises can use 3D printers to manufacture special or customized products to meet customer needs according to customer orders, so new business models will become possible. Zero-time-delivery production minimizes the cost of long-distance transportation if the items people need are produced close by on demand.
Advantage 5: 3D printing design space is unlimited
Traditional manufacturing techniques and artisans produce products with limited shapes, and the ability to create shapes is limited by the tools used. For example, traditional wooden lathes can only make round objects, rolling mills can only machine parts assembled with milling cutters, and mold-making machines can only make die-cast shapes. 3D printers can break through these limitations, opening up huge design spaces and even making shapes that may currently only exist in nature.
Advantage 6: 3D printing zero-skill manufacturing
Traditional craftsmen need several years of apprenticeships to acquire the required skills. Mass production and computer-controlled manufacturing machines have reduced the skill requirement, however traditional manufacturing machines still require skilled professionals for machine adjustment and calibration. 3D printers take various instructions from design files to make the same complex objects, and 3D printers require less operating skills than injection molding machines. Unskilled manufacturing opens up new business models and enables new ways of producing people in remote environments or extreme situations.
For a protomold company, the use of 3D printers provides a more streamlined and cost-effective approach to proto mold manufacturing. With the ability to easily convert design files into complex objects, 3D printers offer protomold companies greater flexibility and innovation in their production processes.