3D printing is having a revolutionary impact on product manufacturing and design. The technology can transform how products are made and designed and also where they are created.
The availability of 3D printing technology lets designers and engineers create tangible products at their own desks rather than sending their designs to a manufacturing plant, which is sometimes in a different country. This convenience and efficiency have led 3D printing to grow in popularity with innovative product teams.
3D printing is often used to create prototypes and scale models out of materials such as metals and plastics. However, the quality and durability of 3D-printed objects means that 3D printing has slowly been transitioning from a method to produce visual aids to a technology for manufacturing end-use parts. As the technology continues to evolve, it offers industries the ability to create functional end-use parts or products that can be commercialised.
The key benefits of 3D printing are:
The increased efficiencies 3D printing brings are transforming the product design workflow within various industries, with many businesses integrating 3D printing into their manufacturing processes.
The widespread adoption of 3D printing is most visible in the automotive and aerospace industries. As some of the first industries to adopt 3D printing, they have reaped the rewards of using the technology for end-use parts as the ability to produce single, lightweight pieces with complex internal geometries brings lasting value to these industries.
The use of 3D printing has been expanding into more industries in recent years as its benefits are realised. For example, dentistry companies can embed 3D printing into manufacturing process to create digitally engineered molds for patients. The integration of 3D printing within manufacturing processes can take advantage of the developments in materials available to use for 3D printing and can allow businesses to create and manufacture the perfect end-use part in a cost-effective way, without sacrificing the part’s quality.
Businesses that incorporate 3D printing into their manufacturing process can improve their end-use product offering in four key ways:
To find out how your business can adopt 3D printing to improve your production activities and create end-use parts, contact Konica Minolta today.
Find out how your business can adopt 3D printing.
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