Various forms of manufacturing have been around for centuries. Any form of production with the use of labor, and varied machines and tools, and meant for the purpose of sale counts as manufacturing. The manufacturing sector is inextricably linked to engineering specialties and industrial design, and increasingly, the use of innovative technologies.
Additive manufacturing, or more commonly, 3D printing technologies are making their mark on the production processes in manufacturing. Let us explore how this is happening and the impact it is having on the industries.
3D Printing in Manufacturing
The use of 3D printing in manufacturing processes enables manufacturers to prioritize consumer demands. It also contributes towards making the supply chain more mobile, increases industry adaptability, and design flexibility. All these factors combine to reduce overall costs and time taken for production, as compared to conventional manufacturing techniques.
Prototyping has become much easier with the availability of industrial 3D printing. Rapid prototyping allows for smoother corrections and modifications to designs in a timely manner. This is so much more economical and quicker than traditional prototyping with new molds every time!
3D Printing Services
3D printing in Pune is already making great strides vis-à-vis manufacturing processes in several business verticals. 3D CAD designs and rapid prototyping services are the two primary benefits of 3D printing currently being employed in the manufacturing sector. It is also ideal for low-volume production of customized products and one-off designs.
Moreover, 3D printing service providers also offer a number of options when it comes to 3D print materials, colours, and texture, as well as surface finishes. This further enhances the quality of the final product or part.
Benefits of 3D Printing for Manufacturing Industry
In this section, we explore the truly disruptive nature of 3D printing by analysing its advantages for manufacturing.
3D printed parts are way cheaper that traditionally manufactured ones. They are also more accessible. By eliminating the need to have a number of different processes and personnel for operating machines or assembly lines, additive manufacturing processes automates manufacturing. This helps companies save on costs on resources.
With rapid prototyping at their fingertips, companies can reduce the risk factor associated with errors arising out of conventional manufacturing. Moreover, setup costs will be drastically reduced and businesses no longer have to justify high setup costs to investors.
Easy design iterations
As the need for retooling is eliminated in 3D print technologies, designers will have greater flexibility to exercise deign iterations in case of flaws detected at testing.
Quicker time to market
Ideas can be put into practice much faster with online 3D printing. Sometimes, it may even be possible to develop 3D concepts and get the 3D prints ready on the same day! Overall, companies can hope reduce to manufacturing time from months to days, and even hours, in some cases. 3D printing is fast. Period.
Print complex geometries
As already mentioned once, it is easier to print complex geometries with 3D printing than traditional techniques. In some cases, where traditional manufacturing was unable to produce such complex designs, 3D printing can now make it a reality.
The inventory for 3D printing materials is growing every day, bringing down costs further. Moreover, these materials are used in a eco-friendlier manner in 3D printing, when compared to traditional manufacturing which generates a lot of waste.
In 3D printing, only the material needed for the specified purpose will be used, namely, that which passes through the printer’s extruder and that needed for the final product assembly. Compare this with traditional injection moulding where additional materials are needed to fill the moulds, thereby generating a huge amount of waste.
Lower costs of warehousing
Many businesses, historically, have had to store components and products for some later use. This requires significant investments in storage and logistics. In other words, companies spend a lot of warehousing. 3D print manufacturing can change this drastically as it is possible to create only those products that are to be sold. Zero overproduction means less storage space required.
Applications of Online 3D Printing
3D printing applications can be used across almost every manufacturing industry. These include:
- Automotive: 3D printed gear sticks, lightweight car parts that help to reduce carbon footprint.
- Medical and healthcare: 3D printing really came to the fore with its improvisations to support healthcare professionals in their fight against the novel coronavirus. 3D printed face masks, face shields, ventilators, valves for ventilators, etc. provided critical personal protection to frontline workers during the pandemic.
- Aerospace and defence: Functional prototypes, tooling, lightweight parts for aircrafts
- Fashion apparel: 3D printed bags, shoes, foot insoles, and so on.
- Construction: Extrusion materials such as wax, foam, or polymers.
- Jewellery: 3D printing processes, with their ability to print intricate and highly complex designs, are ideal for the jewellery business.
Future of Manufacturing with 3D Printing in India
Going by current trends, 3D printing is poised to bring about major shifts in the processes of manufacturing across industries. It is important for businesses to recognize the need to integrate additive manufacturing into their business production strategies, or risk being left far behind in the competition.