3D printing, which started as a niche service, is now considered the future of manufacturing. Big brands like General Electric, Boeing and Ford currently innovate their production processes using 3D printers. Many small and mid-sized enterprises, however, choose not to join the bandwagon primarily because of the technology cost.
While it is not ideal to replace your start-up’s entire production team with 3D printers, you should know that one or two of these high-tech printers from trusted suppliers like RAM Peripherals LTD can bring considerable benefits to your business. Here are a few ways SMEs can maximise 3D printing technology:
Develop Custom Products Easily
The typical process of developing a custom product requires the creation of moulds to cast or shape the desired design. Often, moulds take time to create and cost a considerable amount of money. With 3D printing, you no longer need moulds as materials are printed directly onto a surface to create your custom product. As such, it becomes easier to customise your products to suit the specifications of your customers.
This 3D printing technology allows you to diversify your product line. If you sell garments, for instance, your buyers don’t have to fit into one of your pre-determined sizes; they can specify how they want a piece of clothing to fit their body, instead.
Experiment with New Materials
Even if 3D printing is not yet an ideal long-term strategy for manufacturing, its flexibility enables you to experiment with new materials before investing in large production runs. Say, you want to switch from using a ceramic compound to strengthened glass material when producing teacups, you can save on costs and money, as well as produce less waste, by testing the new materials through 3D printing.
Carry Less Inventory
Since 3D printing offers ample room for product customisation and experimentation, it helps you to carry less inventory. You no longer have to wait for your previous items to run out before you invest in new production runs. You can also quickly eliminate designs and styles that don’t sell.
3D printing isn’t only for the established companies. Start-ups can innovate products and processes without spending much of their resources, thanks to this 3D printing technology.