So you’ve heard of 3D printing, but have you always wondered how it works? If so, this article is for you!
3D printing tech has revolutionized the world of manufacturing, making it easier than ever to bring design concepts to life. In the past, bringing a new product into existence took many hours of custom mold-making.
But today it’s possible to create new objects on-demand, thanks to 3D printing and much better design technology overall. Here’s an overview of how 3D printing works and the advantages it offers to businesses.
How Does 3D Printing Work?
3D printing is an additive process. This means that it creates objects by adding material to a frame or armature, or by layering material a step at a time.
Unlike subtractive processes like CNC machining, carving, or molding, or cutting using CNC machines (e.g., CNC Lathe, Milling machine and Drilling machine) the 3D printing process can make things without making a big mess. It also tends to be more energy-efficient and less wasteful.
Most 3D printing machines use a nozzle to apply a thin layer of filament in a specific pattern. A CAD (computer-aided-design) software program controls the machine’s activity. After the first layer gets applied, the next layer goes down, and this process gets repeated until the object sits fully formed.
Most 3D printing on a small scale takes a mere few minutes or hours. Larger scale printing may take longer than a few hours but it’s still less expensive than older methods of fabrication.
3D Printing for Businesses
Although 3D printing does happen on a large commercial scale, many types of 3D printing are also suitable for small businesses. Small desktop and table-sized printers allow for maximum production with minimal space requirements.
Many companies rely on 3D printing mostly for prototyping and product development. However, some have found that it’s beneficial to use 3D printing for small parts like cell phone and automobile components.
Advantages of 3D Printing Tech
Besides its use in routine manufacturing, 3D printing is perfect for quick fabrication of models, random small parts, and for design experimentation. For design processes that require many iterations, 3D printing allows designers and engineers to experiment with form in a tangible way. And all for a fraction of the cost they’d have encountered 20 years ago.
Some e-commerce companies also use 3D printing to manufacture their products on-demand, which means they don’t have to store inventory. Not having inventory costs means these companies can get their products sent to customers quickly and at huge savings.
Benefits of 3D Printing for Your Company
It’s clear that manufacturing has changed for the better with 3D printing tech. Companies of all sizes can use it to innovate, save money, and get their products in front of customers in a shorter time frame.
Whether you want to use 3D printing tech to print promo items from a desktop model, or you plan to use 3D printing on a large scale for large manufacturing, think of ways to put it in place in your business. With so many options available for using this new technology, the possibilities are endless.
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