Reduce product development with 3D printing
Not without a reason is “rapid prototyping” is known as one of the synonyms for “3D printing”. The whole concept of this technology evolved from producing one-of-a-kind part at the time, contrarily to injection molding and other series-production technologies.
The greatest advantage of 3D printing your prototypes is definitely the time. Even though large-scale 3D print jobs can take days of uninterrupted machine operation, your prototype is still ready much quicker. Producing it on site has huge benefits over outsourcing the new prototypes. Relying on external suppliers can result in delays that come from their supply chain or shipping it from the other side of the planet. Making your new designs in-house can shrink your product development from months to days.
Making your own prototypes on-site is also beneficial in terms of intellectual property protection. Your files are not anymore sent out to the suppliers and a brand new product can remain secret until the launch date.
Another aspect of 3D printing that often raises discussion is costs. Comparison of the price per unit for additive manufacturing and injection molding might not seem feasible at all, but 3D printing is also the perfect tool for prototyping for the same reason. Printing 1000 pieces of a new plastic product could take ages and elevate the unit cost, but the expenditure of making new tooling, a cast or a mold for injecting only one new design is not feasible at all.
3D printing brings also new opportunities for industrial designers to iterate the look of new product endlessly. If the prototype does not meet expectations, the digital model can be changed immediately and a new prototype – ready the next day. Therefore, the engineers can iterate the designs to perfection.
You can easily increase the up-time and efficiency of your R&D department by letting them work with 3D printing. Most of our clients do not take long to understand and be able to successfully operate even a large-scale industrial machine. 3D printing is transparent and easy to understand, so you do not even have to be an engineer to work on the new models. And in terms of shapes and sizes, only your imagination limits the complexity of the solid.
Additive manufacturing comes also very handy and risk-free in terms of final design functional optimization. Product Designers and Mechanical Engineers can verify the form, function, manufacturability and viability very easily by holding the new object in their hands the next day. The new casing or part can be proven before the production and the costly mistakes can be caught much earlier in the development cycle.
Large-scale 3D printing is a smart and cost-effective way of letting your clients benefit from smart and cost-effective way of working. Your product development consultants can come up with the best, most customer-oriented and customized solutions very quickly. Holding a real-size version of the product in front of investors and prospective customers might give you room for improvement and help to collect valuable feedback at the early stage before refining the product. Reduced time and costs give you more resources for other innovations and research breakthroughs.