3D printing is a new technology that has only just begun to make waves. Many people still see it as a novelty, something useful for nerdy art projects. It still seems like something out of science fiction.
However, the benefits of 3D printing are hard to pass up once you really look at them. Very few people really have, however, because the technology is so new and is developing so fast. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest advantages of 3D printing and how they can help you and your organization.
Save money on prototypes
Creating a physical prototype of a product can get quite expensive. Machining parts and creating injection molds can get expensive, especially if you want to make several different iterations of them.
With 3D printing, it’s much cheaper for making prototypes. You can easily have multiple design iterations printed at a fraction of the cost it would take to machine or mold them- -and much faster, too. This can make a substantial difference to the project’s budget, especially as you near the end of your design process. Every penny you can save will help you out.
Streamline the design process
Designing any product is fraught with difficulty. Elements of your plans may fall through because of limitations in materials, budget, or the fact they just don’t work as well as you thought they would. It can take time to learn of these issues, however, and the typical difficulty, expensive, and time needed to make prototypes means that you may not learn of issues with the design until far too late to fix them properly.
If you use 3D printing, however, it becomes much less costly to develop physical prototypes, meaning you can make them and see if they will work much faster. Print a part early on to see if it will fit where it needs to go. If it doesn’t, you’ll know and be able to come up with a better solution, all much sooner and cheaper than you would have if you’d used more traditional manufacturing methods. If your product is focused on ergonomics or fit, this can be really important.
While a computer model can communicate a lot of ideas about a product very well, it’s hard to beat something that you can hold in your hands, even if it is just a model or prototype. Tangible objects simply mean more. Being able to touch a product, move it around, and look at it from all angles can be much more worthwhile than a computer model where the angles are limited and dimensions might be a bit more skewed.
3D print prototypes for team meetings or even examples for presentations. Keep a 3D printed model on your desk to help you visualize your product in use. There are a lot of uses for having a real physical example of your product on hand to hold and feel.
3D printing does not have the same limitations as many other manufacturing methods. Difficult geometry or odd shaped holes are no challenge. Things that have been hard or even impossible to build are now very easy to do with a 3D printer.
If your design idea calls for something strange, like holes that change direction or odd-shaped interior cavities, it can be 3D printed just as easily as a traditionally shaped design. A design that would normally require you to also design and build the new tools needed to make it is now cheaper and easier to make thanks to modern 3D printing techniques.
Customize the design
Offer customers the chance to customize elements of the design to their needs and desires. With 3D printing, you or customer base can easily add a variety of custom fits, looks, and colors.
This opens up a lot of possibilities in design and even for marketing. This capability has already seen a lot of use in the medical and dental industries, with more sure to come.
Feel free to use it when designing anything, from jewelry to hinges to storage containers. Because you control the design that can be 3D printed, and because 3D printing offers so many possibilities that were expensive or impossible before, you can offer a wide variety of options.
At Jawstec, we offer the latest and greatest 3D printing technologies. Our expert team is happy to work with you on your design so that it meets your standards. If the advantages of 3D printing listed above seem like a good fit for you, please contact us today so we can get started helping you get the most of out of 3D printing.