It is a must for a company to attach itself to the on-going technological trends for getting a competitive edge. And if there is a manufacturing technology that is groundbreaking, perspective-changing, and truly beneficial, it is 3D printing.
How 3D Printing will Give Your Company a Competitive Edge
According to a study, 71.1 percent of manufacturers have already adopted this technology. Around 52 percent of the manufacturers foresee a growing future of this technology in the coming three years.
So, the obvious question is not whether the technology will profit your company or not?
Instead, the question is, how? And to answer your question we put in front of you some proven points in which 3D printing technology is supposed to give your company a competitive edge.
Not to mention, these are also the most advantageous points from infinite plus points of this technology.
1) Lesser equipment than traditional manufacturing techniques
All you need for manufacturing a part or functional prototype using 3D printing technology is a 3D printer.
If you think that’ll be a huge piece of machine, you are wrong — it is a small piece of machine that will only occupy space equivalent to a desktop computer.
Take any older manufacturing technique. First of all, they are all dependent on each other. H
You’ll need more than one machine to manufacture a part or functional prototype, and hence more investment of money, space, and effort.
However, for manufacturing an object using 3D printing, you’ll utilize lesser space, lower cost of operation, and maintenance. This means a speedier manufacturing process.
2) Higher accuracy
To ensure that there is the least amount of human intervention in the entire process of 3D printing, the technology’s first step i.e. designing is based on 3D modeling software.
After creating the 3D design on that software, you have to slice the file on a slicer to make it understandable to the 3D printer. So, the second step is also on a machine.
In the third step, you need to feed the sliced file, also known as g-codes into your 3D printer. And the 3D printer will move and deposit the layers accordingly.
As you can imagine, all of this happens through machine interactions and integrations, which decreases the scope of error in manufacturing an object.
Also, different types of 3D printing technologies employ various kinds of mechanisms as well as sources for creating an object. FDM 3D printing technology prints using the process of heating and extrusion!
SLA 3D printing technology prints using ultraviolet rays and SLS 3D printing technology prints using the laser.
But on average, the quality of parts and functional prototypes is higher than the average quality of objects created using traditional manufacturing techniques.
3) Lower overhead cost
As a company, your biggest concern would be overhead costs. They include rent, administrative costs, power costs, and a lot more.
And in case you have a manufacturing plant, there is also the manpower cost, the electricity cost, the maintenance cost, and whatnot.
But with 3D printing technology, you need not invest in huge warehouses or plants. Of course, you are free to have a print farm consisting of many 3D printers if you wish to.
But there is no necessity, in the sense that it is not inevitable to have a 3D print farm for manufacturing an object. You can do well without that too.
3D printing technology requires less space and is cheaper to maintain. Doing this would turn to your customers, to whom you would be able to offer parts and functional prototypes at a lower price than competitors.
In case you wish to manufacture a keychain or customize something related to your keychain, you can download the 3D design file from online 3D printing repositories.
There is no need to make one of your own! Even if you do not have a 3D printer, you can upload that 3D design file on an online 3D printing service provider’s website and get the product shipped to your place.
This is the nature of flexibility offered by 3D printing technology. For you as a company, there are many business models you could choose from.
To name a few; there is manufacturing as a service, on-demand manufacturing, supply chain, mass customization, direct to the customer. Each one of these has its own benefits.
All you need is programming the slicer software, adding the required support structures (if needed), and that’s all!
You can start 3D printing any kind of structure, with any kind of complexity. Be it complex in geometry, varying in colors, textures, and mechanical properties, 3D printing will easily let you manufacture the part.
The trend nowadays is to customize products as well as services.
More than wanting to see the standard products at their place, people are driven towards something that suits their personality.
And this is exactly where 3D printing technology steals the show from traditional manufacturing techniques.
They were masters of standardization, but 3D printing technology enables you to buy a device costing $200 and permits you to manufacture any damn thing you wish to!
This quality of 3D printing benefits you to satisfy the needs of your customer like no other manufacturing technology. Not to forget that this satisfaction is not at some hi-fi cost, but at an affordable one.
In a comparison with traditional manufacturing technologies, 3D printing definitely manages to outdo them.
It successfully provides you shorter product life cycles, enhances designs, permits you to manufacture parts and functional prototypes with extremely complex geometries, and delivers you better quality products.
Additionally, 3D printing technology will also bring a sense of digitization to your company. Managing 3D design files on the cloud, slicing them, managing to monitor 3D printers, 3D printing material, etc.
Doing all of that would digitally upgrade your staff’s technical skills. And that is highly essential not only in the current but also in the upcoming time.
So, overall there are many ways in which 3D printing provides your company a competitive edge.