3D printing has already revolutionized the medical and aerospace industries and is slowly being considered for its countless applications in other industries, whether that be for tooling or the creation of small batch products. The future possibilities of 3D printing are endless which is why here we have detailed the five steps in integrating 3D printing into manufacturing.
Step 1: Finding the Right Project
The first step in this process involves avoiding being shot down straight away by getting everyone on board with the idea of 3D printing. Any project that is too complex with intricate design elements will not be the project for a 3D printing pitch. 3D printing allows a lot of design freedom, but you will only be able to align everyone in the company if it’s for the right part in the right project.
Step 2: What will it cost?
When presenting your case, you’ll need to include pricing and that includes integrating 3D printing into the manufacturing process. This will mean you will need to think about floor costs, maintenance costs, inspection during the process, packing and shipping. You will need to understand the comparative costs of traditional manufacturing methods and the costs of 3D printing and look at the variables i.e. delivery times. Decisions will primarily be made on quality, risk and cost so it is important you have covered off each of these in your proposal.
Step 3: Reducing the risk
Reducing the risk at each stage of production is key in the manufacturing process which is why companies will have teams overseeing it. Quality and cost are generally the areas where the most risk is associated with the supply chain but there can be more issues. Companies need to be assured that any 3D printed components will always be readily available. Without these assurances, 3D printing simply becomes a risk which is why it is important you bring in supply teams to look at the project. They will be able to successfully identify areas of risk and seek solutions.
Step 4: Quality
Whether you are working with traditional manufacturing or integrating more modern techniques, all brands expect the highest quality when it comes to the finished product. But no company will want to add 3D Printing to their manufacturing process if it impacts the economic model. Ultimately, there is a price for any manufacturer to add 3D printing and that is the machine, processes and materials individually being validated and qualified.
Step 5: Educate
3D Printing is one of the most innovative means of creation in 2018 and as such has plenty of success stories and milestones that can be shared. The goal is to demonstrate what is possible and allow people to dream of what will be possible in the future. The adoption of 3D printing has been a slow process but it is clear that the future of manufacturing is certainly heading towards this tech.
At Central Scanning, we can take your digital files and print them out in minimal time. We are able to offer you a complete scanning and printing package according to your needs in a variety of materials and sizes.
Please contact us for more information on 3D printing service.