Complement Traditional Manufacturing with Additive Manufacturing
Why do companies need to consider complementing traditional manufacturing with additive manufacturing? Although 3D printing has been around for years, companies are unaware or have yet to fully tap into the limitless potential that it brings. The adoption of 3D printing makes it possible to take more risks, derive customized solutions, reduce the lead time and time to market, and reduce waste as compared to traditional manufacturing.
With an understanding of how processes work including their benefits and drawbacks, manufacturers of all industries can better work out on how to synergise the two technologies in making a better overall product, streamline workflow, and boost productivity cost-effectively.
Spotlight: 3D Printing the Game-changer
Synergy for Efficiency
3D printing, also known as Rapid Prototyping (RP) or Additive Manufacturing (AM), is a manufacturing process of using 3D printers to additively build or form 3D parts layer by layer from 3D computer-aided design (CAD) data.
With the advances of 3D printing technologies offering greater accessibility, affordability and versatility, it has become a game-changer in how manufacturing works. Traditional processes like CNC machining aren’t going to just fade away as they can be used with great efficiency for high-volume runs of which they’re suited best. By complementing traditional subtractive manufacturing with AM, iterations of design and low-volume production of parts can be enabled without incurring significant costs.
5 Reasons on why you should adopt Additive Manufacturing
1. 3D printing eases the creation of complex parts. An entire part is built to spec layer by layer in one process with 3D printing, instead of sourcing and assembling different components with traditional manufacturing.
2. You gain greater design freedom. Previously impossible structures like a custom-printed metal rib cage for a patient can be achieved through 3D printing, and overcome traditional manufacturing constraints.
3. You save costs on 3D prototyping. Pieces can be 3D printed with just a digital file, eliminating cost inefficiencies associated with traditional manufacturing. If changes are desired, modifications need only be made to the digital file, and another prototype can be produced in just a few hours at negligible cost.
4. Quicken time to market. The versatility and relative ease of 3D printing allow for design iterations to be made easily, and bring new products to market earlier.
5. Enjoy more flexibility with materials. The intricacies of the 3D printing process enables the ability to work with materials at an elemental level. By breaking down materials into component forms during the 3D printing process, material qualities of a metal can be modified to suit specific requirements.
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The 3D printing process
A blueprint of a 3D object is created using computer modeling software
The STL file of the model is sent to the printer to be printed
Supports are removed to reveal the finished product which can be further polished for aesthetic