How industrial-scale 3D printers are changing the manufacturing industry.
Ever since the early days of 3D printing technology, there was a great deal of hope and expectation that this would one day alter the face of manufacturing forever. Now we see industry giants like Konica Minolta who are providing 3D printing solutions for a great number of manufacturers and much as we expected in the beginning, this technology has completely re-shaped the manufacturing industry. Let’s take a look then at exactly how this new printing phenomenon has switched things up.
Research and Development
During the research and development stage of any product, prototypes are required, usually a lot of them as the design changes during the investigation stage. In the past these products would have had to be made in what would be a time consuming and potentially expensive way. Using a 3D printer however a business can sail through their R and D, making multiple changes to the product and then creating it, saving hours and hours of time which the previous system would’ve required.
Cost Calculations and Savings
Manufacturers can use 3D printing to better calculate the cost of production as well as helping to accurately drill down the cost of every product that is created. Because there is significantly less waste, these calculations are far easier to achieve and businesses save money on a daily basis thanks to this. A 3D printer can cost anywhere between $6,000 and $50,000, but businesses can expect to break even in no time at all thanks to these savings.
To date we have not seen any other type of machinery, which is able to match the speed in which a 3D printer can manufacture, and that shows no sign of changing any time soon. Naturally the goal of any manufacturer is to increase quality and output and on both of those fronts the 3D printer delivers. Again we can see another area where the 3D printer pays the business back for its investment and through increased production a manufacturer will have much more selling power, thus increasing the size of the operation.
As we have just mentioned, there is significantly less waste when a 3D printer is used for production and this is because all of the material measurements and production process is designed before things start, and they are designed with maximum efficiency in mind. This not only results in a cost saving for the business but it has a hugely beneficial impact on the environment. Green solutions are big business at the moment as many industries look to reduce their carbon footprint, and manufacturers are very much at the heart of this. Through the use of a 3D printer a manufacturer is able to instantly decrease the impact which they have on the environment, helping the planet, and helping their brand in the process.
We are still only at the beginning of what these 3D printers are capable of and the future looks very bright indeed.