The proliferation of 3D printing has profoundly impacted the manufacturing sector. In 2017 only about 27% of companies using 3D printing were using it to produce final use parts, and as of last year that number had jumped to over 60% of companies. While the technology's merits are well-recognized, the significant investment in equipment and operational expertise can deter smaller businesses. This is where 3D printing service providers come into play, offering an accessible route for smaller companies to leverage this innovative technology. This blog post will delve into just some of the the benefits of using a 3D printing service provider.
1. Capital and Operational Cost Savings
Investing in industrial-grade 3D printers can be a considerable expense, especially for small businesses. Not to mention the ongoing operational costs such as maintenance, raw materials, electricity, and personnel needed to run the machines. By using a 3D printing service provider, businesses can access the benefits of 3D printing without the high upfront and ongoing costs, thereby freeing up capital and people for other crucial aspects of the business.
2. Access to Advanced Technologies and Materials
3D printing service providers typically invest in the latest technologies and a wide range of materials to cater to diverse customer needs. This allows smaller businesses to benefit from cutting-edge technology and materials that might be too expensive or complex to manage in-house. Whether it's metal, ceramics, or advanced polymers like we focus on here at Accelerate3D, service providers can offer a range of options to suit various applications.
3. Expertise and Quality Assurance
3D printing, while revolutionary, is a complex process that requires specific expertise to achieve high-quality results. Service providers specialize in 3D printing and have a team of experts to ensure optimal output. They can provide guidance on design optimization for additive manufacturing, material selection, and post-processing techniques, ensuring the final product meets the required standards. Unless 3D printing is a core aspect of your business you probably shouldn't be spending your limited time trying to run a 3D printer.
4. Scalability and Flexibility
As businesses grow and evolve, their production needs can change. A 3D printing service provider can easily scale operations up or down based on demand, providing flexibility that would be challenging with in-house operations. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with fluctuating demand or those looking to test new products in the market. This flexibility also extends to the part designs themselves since a 3D printing service provider like us can easily update the files to be printed. Which is not possible with other production processes like injection molding which require new expensive tooling to be process for the updated design.
5. Reduced Lead Times
With an in-house 3D printer, businesses are restricted by their machine's capacity. However, service providers often have multiple machines and can thus print numerous parts simultaneously, significantly reducing production lead times. This allows smaller companies to get their products to market faster, giving them a competitive edge.
Incorporating 3D printing into a business doesn't have to mean making a substantial investment in machinery and expertise. By using a 3D printing service provider like Accelerate3D, smaller companies can reap the benefits of this innovative technology in a cost-effective, scalable, and flexible way.
This approach enables smaller businesses to focus on their core competencies, leaving the complexities of 3D printing to the experts. As 3D printing continues to evolve and reshape the manufacturing landscape, partnering with a service provider can be an effective strategy for small businesses to stay competitive and innovative.