3D printing has become an essential pillar in the manufacturing renaissance. What kind of benefits does it offer to the metal industry?
FREMONT, CA: Doubtlessly, the future of 3D printing is very bright. There are increasing numbers of use-cases as well as demonstrable business benefits that prove that additive manufacturing can be utilized as a mainstream manufacturing technology.
Reorganizing the supply chain and normalizing digitization
Additive manufacturing is heading the way in the digital transformation of Industry 4.0. It is considered one of the purest digital technologies as it doesn't need fixturing and tooling, eventually reducing or eliminating switching costs in moving a file to distinct locations and printers.
Instead of stocking a warehouse of parts that might become outdated, additive manufacturing condenses a mountain of boxes taking away physical space, into digital files that can be conveniently stored in the cloud and accessed in real-time.
Moreover, distributed manufacturing is transforming the way companies integrate 3D printing into their digital strategy. Rather than addressing a centralized solution, distributed manufacturing allows enterprises to decentralize production to manufacture the final product closer to the consumer.
3D printing empowers the manufacturers better to link the physical supply chain with a digital thread and handle products more proficiently from the concept to the execution. It is possible to distribute manufacturing to any location that possesses digital manufacturing systems in place by merely transferring a file.
Easy scalability from prototyping to production
Additive manufacturing enables easy scalability from the prototype to full-scale production. Additive manufacturing is very suitable for low to mid-volume production. With the appropriate level of planning, engineering, and material development, a part built utilizing additive manufacturing can seamlessly transform into rate production equipment, like injection molding.
Manufacturing a part on-demand by using 3D printing allows manufacturers to print part as required rather than pulling the part from a supply warehouse. On-demand production helps the companies to realize the massive reductions in inventory and storage expenses.
Providing more customized designs and greater flexibility
A constant customer trend that has been noticed across many industries is the desire for personalization. 3D printing solves this problem by empowering manufacturers to be flexible in responsive design. Rather than hoisting massive quantities of similar objects onto the public, the manufacturers can produce smaller batches, thus allowing engineers and designers to accommodate product designs and innovate affordably as inspiration hits or consumer feedback trickles in.
Additive manufacturing is already demonstrating its transformative behavior and is reshaping the businesses. It doesn't need a crystal ball to view that the future of 3D printing is indeed bright.
See also: Top 3D Printing Solution Companies