In the world of manufacturing, 3D printing is quite in vogue. Today, a large variety of companies come with their own 3D printers and the list includes the independent shop owners, traditional manufacturers as well as artists. Today, there are also a few public libraries that purchase 3D printers to help people learn more about this technology. There are also a few kiosks and stalls in malls and shopping centers nowadays selling figurines and toys taken from the likeness of the customers.
It’s not hard to guess that there are several reasons behind the huge popularity of this technology. If developed properly, it has the potential to revolutionize the very way goods are manufactured and sold.
Achievements of 3D Printing
You must have heard about the fascinating achievements of 3D printing. The printers today can create customized dresses, personalized make-up and are now used in medicine as well. The number of materials that can be used in additive manufacturing or 3D printing is growing; so is the capacity of the 3D printing hardware.
From detailed customized hearing aids to pizza for the astronauts, the 3D printers today have achieved greater precision and finer resolution at comparatively low costs.
Infographic Source: http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/09/26/3d-hubs-tracks-big-crowdfunding-growth-3d-printing-industry-october-trend-report/
Economists label additive manufacturing as the third industrial revolution. Let’s take a look at the effects it cast on the consumers and the manufacturers.
- Faster Production Cycle
With the aid of 3D printing, manufacturing items is becoming easier. We can expect manufacturing items to be as simple as entering a program into the computer, feeding the printer with the raw materials and getting the finished product. This will not just make it easier to get things but it will also make accessing anything you want to, even in remote locations, possible.
- Examining Designs
Instead of taking the 2D designs straight to the manufacturer, the engineers and designers today use 3D printing to check out designs. This function was the earliest benefit of 3D printing and has not yet lost its relevance.
3D printing does not only reveal the designs, it reveals products before they are finished. The 3D printed architectural models help to visualise the building much before the building is constructed. This aids in pointing out the design flaws better and making the changes easier.
Locating the design flaws becomes easy with 3D printing. Thus, redesigning and prototyping frequently and affordably is easy now. This is leading to developments of several products across the medical, consumer and the aerospace product industries.
Fixing design flaws no longer necessitates shipping tools back and forth or waiting to buy a new tool. The users are just required to update the 3D computer aided design file, reprint design and validate it.
3D print plays a dominant role in shortening the supply chain by speeding up product development cycles.
- Manufacturing Aid
Manufacturing aids like fixtures, jigs and tools that speed up the assembly line are quite valuable. However, making them takes time and is expensive as well if developed traditionally. The versatility offered by additive manufacturing as well as the ease with which the durable but accurate parts are developed turns it into a go-to-resource today.
Usage of 3D manufacturing ensures a higher level of quality management and aids in maintaining profit as well as efficiency.
- Lesser Waste
In several instances, the manufacturer needs to use more raw materials than necessary. This is because, the product will be molded or carved of that material. Though there are several ways to repurpose the excessive material in cases like this, it is always better to bring down wastage.
Since 3D printing chiefly involves layering of materials, you are bound to end up with less wastage.
The made-to-order strategy also brings down the wastage. The retailers need not stock items that the consumers don’t like. They may simply keep the stocks that the consumers prefer. This will bring down the shipping charges as well.
The made-to-order strategy influences the fulfilment process as well as the role of the retailer. This is capacitated to change the relation of manufacturer-wholesaler-retailer. Since the retailers need not maintain a stock of their own, the orders are possible to be fulfilled directly of the manufacturers.
- Consumer Relationship
The way consumers are relating to companies will evolve substantially with lesser mediators and more personalization options.
It will be possible to purchase personalized apparels, furniture and even vehicles. Changes like this will help in meeting with consumer demand, reducing the cost of doing business substantially.
With such rapid development and achievement, don’t expect 3D printing to bring an end to the traditional manufacturing procedures overnight. If you are hoping to 3D print items from the comfort of your home, the time is not yet ripe. You may need to wait for a few years. In fact, a market researcher has pointed out that widespread use of 3D printing among the consumers is five, if not ten years away.
Information shared by Architectural rendering company