3-D printing is continuing to gain market penetration in the manufacturing industry as demand rises for orders to meet necessary speed, cost and quality standards.
The leveraging of 3-D printing continues in the manufacturing landscape as many companies are quickly seeing positive impacts on overall financial performances and improvements in efficiency. Currently, many manufacturers are prioritising installing 3-D printers as they are realising the benefits it has to their business and value chain.
Design and prototyping
The development process for design and prototyping development is essential to determine customer requirements. The evolution of 3-D printing eases the process for product designers as it enables production of real-life prototypes, whilst ensuring the functionality of the product.
3-D printing is now overtaking previous methods where designers relied solely on computer images or drawings. The implementation of 3-D printing has resulted in efficient prototype production and rapid feedback responses. Frequently, feedback can be generated on the same day as production – something which was unheard of with traditional prototyping methods. As a result, iteration cycles are reduced from weeks to days, and often hours.
In the engineering process, particularly functional prototyping, 3-D printing has gained traction. Now designers can see, touch and experiment with creations within hours. Compare this with more time-consuming and costly traditional engineering processes that involve design, tooling, production, review and iteration of the design and it’s easy to see why.
For full-scale manufacturing production, printing speeds and materials choice are the limiting factors. However, the evolution of 3-D printing has enabled new material markets to thrive with increased product availability and reduced costs, making automated 3-D printing solutions easier to integrate in to assembly processes on a large-scale.
Short-run and spare parts
It is becoming increasingly cost-effective to use 3-D printing for short-run production, where the cost of tooling and casting make part replacement production on anything other than a large-scale prohibitive. Such use also reduces inventory costs, particularly in markets where demand is erratic.
As 3-D printing advances, demand for regulated and brand-name materials is increasing with the focus on quality, durability and certification.
About JB Springs
Here at JB Springs, we use 3-D printing to develop innovative solutions for our customers’ applications. This facility enables us to replicate the application situation, design a spring solution and quickly test and refine the design. Using 3-D printing has enabled us to offer complete product development support that not only checks and advises on the feasibility of a concept but helps prove the design. By utilising the very latest technologies and tools we can create working prototypes that aid in the testing and development of the product. This has enabled us to improve our customer response times and reduce the cost and time required to take the spring to production.
If you have a project which requires 3-D printing, design or innovation services, contact our experienced team on 01756 797979 or get in touch via our contact us form.