With the advent of the technological boom in the current era, business growth strategies have changed from simple advertising to exceptional tactics. One such tool that has changed the face of businesses and manufacturing is 3D printing. This innovative process has become a critical aspect to shape, and design products in the market.
What is 3D Printing?
To turn a digital model into a physical object, 3D printing uses an additive process. It uses up layers of plastic (sometimes metal, or composite material) to create an object out of digital forms, bringing it to life. It is an additive process since the layers of a particular material are added one layer at a time, rather than placing it in bulk.
It is not just a modern manufacturing tool, but a powerful contrivance that allows businesses to create new models that were previously, not economically viable. Furthermore, it helps in the direct co-creating processes between customers and companies, ensuing in unique customizations.
Why is 3D Printing essential to business growth?
With ever-increasing demands, traditional manufacturing methods hold several restrictions. Progression in technology, types of equipment, and materials have made manufacturing cost-effective and practicable for many industries. The crucial elements that aid in business development are the concepts of rapid prototyping, lower production costs, a whopping amount of storage space, and less wastage. This is where 3D printing takes over.
Applying digital construction to rapid prototyping and manufacturing processes can significantly reduce costs, particularly when technology is used internally. This saves time and money, which provides companies to offer more competitive costs for their products.
This advantageous concept uses only the exact amount of resources needed to create the object and its supporting structures. The rest of the material can be melted back, instead of wasting. Also, with additive manufacturing, 3D printing poses no hassle with storage concepts as it is a digital inventory.
Additionally, 3D printing utilises minimal manpower because it isn’t as labour intensive as the traditional manufacturing plant. Having a smaller processing plant, the number of people required to maintain the printer is also fewer. The new-age printers use a variety of raw materials that can be integrated with different software and can also operate from a distance.
Based on the design and intricacy, 3D printing can print within hours, compared to moulded or machined parts. Also, printing restrictions are limited in 3D printing. This is also a fast source to develop ideas and get them printed on the same day. When it comes to large-scale manufacturing, 3D printing is preferred over the conventional methods as it takes lesser time while manufacturers can still be ahead of other competitors.
By creating virtual models, a business that takes up 3D printing can progress through ideation and creation of finished product in a short span of time. Right from the concept to finish, 3D printing has limitless options for building business models. As wastage of material is reduced, this technology has an added advantage of improved fuel efficiency from using lightweight 3D printed parts.
As far as investments are concerned, 3D printers can produce more parts at a higher return on investment than conventional techniques. The production capacity increases due to automated processes and therefore, the total cost of production is decreased, resulting in more return on investments.
Nowadays, even healthcare facilities around the world use this technology to create imprints of human body organs like the heart, kidney, and liver, for transplants and life-saving treatments.
3D printing is also making its way for many brands to enter the market directly, without having to rely on a middleman entity. By doing so, designers can bypass hurdles to reach markets, and stay ahead of other competing brands.