The traditional mindset when it comes to 3D printing is that it is only for one-off prototypes and small quantity orders. This is changing rapidly. In fact more and more of our customers are realizing that they can produce production quantities of their parts utilizing our 3D printing technologies. Let’s take a look:
Traditional Manufacturing follows this work flow:
This time line can take many months to complete with thousands of dollars invested into costly tooling. While this is suitable for part runs of many thousands of parts, what happens if you are looking to do a short run production of 1 – 5,000 parts? It may not be worth all the time and money spent on cutting a full automated tooling or CNC work. Instead we could not only prototype the part but also produce the end-use production parts using the same technologies and materials.
Take a look at the revised time-line using 3D printing for full production:
As you can see the total production time can be reduced by months while also reducing your costs by thousands of dollars since there is no need for costly tooling that only becomes a paper weight once your project is completed.
But what about the high per part costs of 3D printing, wouldn’t that prevent us from larger quantity production runs? Normally yes, however with many of our printing technologies we can offer significant bulk discounts. In fact we have seen per part costs as low as $0.10 per parrt!