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How 3D Printing Benefits the Manufacturing Industry?

            3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), uses 3D printers to manufacture objects layer by layer at a high rate and low cost. This novel production method is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and the way things are being designed and built. It also offers advantages leading the companies to replace their old-fashioned production methods with this one. Shapesourced, a company in Orange County, is one example in the United States presenting various 3D printing services.

Keep reading this article to find out some of the main advantages of additive manufacturing and the industries in which this method is helping the most.

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Advantages of 3D Printing for the Manufacturing Industry

             3D printing provides a range of merits associated with cost, time, and reliability in manufacturing in different industries. Here are some of the main advantages additive manufacturing has brought to the industry:

Cost Efficiency

Compared to conventional manufacturing methods, which require many materials, multiple-stage procedures, and several machines, 3D printing reduces these costs effectively. You can produce the components through a single-step process that consumes the amount of material needed without waste. All you need is only one 3D printer.

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping, the ability to manufacture things in as short a time as possible, may be the most important advantage of 3D printing. The independently produced components can easily be modified if needed, while in traditional methods, it may take weeks to set up the machinery and apply the modifications. This feature is beneficial for both small and large-scale businesses.

Flexibility in Design

            In conventional manufacturing, it is necessary to produce parts separately and there will be an assembly stage only at the end. However, 3D printing allows the industries to build components with complex geometries with no need to assemble. It is said that single-stage additive manufacturing can lead to a 75%  manufacturing cost reduction.

Weight Reduction

            Using plastic as the main raw material in 3D printing provides the opportunity of creating lightweight components. Furthermore, designing specific parts, including porous structures consuming light metal alloys, is now possible by 3D printing. This weight reduction is essential for some industries such as aerospace, medical and automotive industry.

3D Printing Challenges to Be Addressed

Besides the mentioned advantages for 3D printing in the manufacturing industry, challenges need to be dealt with to help this method get more industrialized shortly. Two of the main challenges are

Limitations in Materials:

Although there are various types of metals and plastics being used in 3D printing, yet there are limited material options to choose from.

Dealing With AM Requires New Staff Training:

3D printing can affect human manufacturing resources differently. On the one hand, there will be less need for operators and human labor as the entire process is done automatically. On the other hand, the few experts remaining in their positions in the AM, need to be trained well to work with printers.

To Sum Up…

There are many ways AM can benefit the manufacturing industry, yet there might be disadvantages to consider. As of the last decade, we can see 3D printing is taking significant steps and moving forward at high speed. In the US, for instance, you can find companies offering 3D printing services. No matter if you are working in the medical industry, engineering, toy, and game, or manufacturing, you can always contact ShapeSourced to consult your orders!



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