If you are a small product manufacturer, you probably are aware that today’s manufacturing is changing in a major way with the development of 3D printers. 3D printers have been around for decades, but are now affordable for small manufacturers and the technology is being continuously improved. Product manufacturers now have the option of producing without spending thousands of dollars on prototypes. For example, someone could print in the comfort of an office, garage, etc. on a much smaller scale as a business, but they may want to read this article here so they’re informed on what pros and cons they should be looking for when purchasing their first 3D printer.
How Does it Work?
3D printing is essentially taking a digital design file and making a solid three dimensional object from the design. You can print almost anything you can think of if you have the right materials. “The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross section of the eventual object”, Source: 3Dprinting.com. Hopefully you now understand at least the basics of the process.
Is it Worth the Investment?
To start the 3D printing journey, there are courses you can take to get you started. A beginner’s course alone could cost you around $350. From there, actually buying yourself a printer kit could cost anywhere from $300 to thousands and thousands of dollars, depending the on quality of the printer, size of the objects you are wanting to print (the bigger the objects, the bigger the printer in most cases), and several other factors. 3D printing could sound like a huge investment, but this technology is the most affordable it has ever been. If you to want design and manufacture your own products, you now can, and you don’t even have to be a manufacturer. If you want to create a rough model of a potential new product, you now can. This can even help in the crowdfunding process by showing people a more accurate representation of what the product will actually look like before they donate or invest. 3D printing is doing for manufacturing what PCs did for non computing
environments: leveling the playing field. I believe that whether you are personally investing in 3D printing or hiring someone else to do it for you, it can end up saving you a lot of money either way. The future manufacturing possibilities of 3D printing are endless, so get in the game and get ahead while you still can.
This blog post was written by Stephanie Trudell, our Brand Ambassador Intern here at Retailbound. You can reach Stephanie at StephanieTrudell.Retailbound@gmail.com.