How Can Manufacturing Leverage the Power of 3D Printers?
The historic shift to 3D in underway and 3D printers have already become inevitable. The technology is enabling companies to convert their vision into a physical reality. Manufacturing companies are using 3D technology to create customized products for the end-customers. For instance, a sunglass manufacturing company uses an algorithm scanning to capture different shapes of the head to create tailor-made sunglasses. The ability of the printers to turn complex models into solid objects to pique the attention is slowly gaining popularity and driving the market for the printers. It’s high time that the manufacturing sector moves past the long-standing production process. The old school needs to make way and embrace the responsiveness and flexibility of the new age 3D technology.
According to a survey by PwC, over 70% of manufacturers have found a way of implementing 3D technology in their plant. It offers a bouquet of benefits including;
A/B testing of physical products
3D printers are in the race of bringing a technological revolution in the manufacturing sector. Prototyping no longer bounds the 3D technology.And, it’s allowing manufacturers to iterate their design models without spending much. Today, these printers have become a center of attraction because manufacturers can conduct a true market test to know how the target audience will receive the product. Ford Motors, one of the leading automobile companies is saving money by carrying out A/B tests on the car models. Earlier, the engineers were crafting a new mold for every design prototype – a step which consumes at least 6 months and hundreds of dollars. However, today, Ford is 3D printing these models in just 4 days. The humongous saving of time and money is working as a motivation factor for adopting 3D technology in the manufacturing sector.
3D Printers: More customizable and adaptable products
Until now, if a person wanted to buy a sunglass, he would try out a dozen of sunglasses and choose the one which best suits the design of their head. Today, their head is scanned, a custom design of the sunglasses is created and 3D print of the frames is done. This example highlights how 3D technology is supporting customization and making the products more adaptable. Manufacturers can use the 3D technology to print a prototype and update it according to the requirement. It is empowering the companies to create customizable and unique products that resonate with their audience.
The budding 3D technology is resource efficient because the only material that it uses is what passes through the laser light. Whereas in conventional manufacturing, a lot of material and inventory goes into the waste. Also, holding the inventory burns a hole in the pocket. The cost includes capital spent on producing the inventory, warehousing, insurance, shrinkage, distribution, and tracking. However, with 3D prints, you only make what you need and when you need. 3D printers are making way for virtual inventory, which is likely to capture the market in the coming years.
The possibility of innovation and growth in 3D technology is tremendous. The sweeping changes will sooner or later become the market trend.