Making the business leap into 3D printing entails a number of decisions and trade-offs. Companies always weigh different manufacturing methods, to find what gives them the desired return on principal investment. So, let’s examine the ways 3D printing can reduce costs, decrease lead time, and increase efficiency, to provide a manufacturing businesses with the expected return on investment.

As 3D printing technology matures, a business doesn’t have to worry about hiring expensive and specialized talent to maintain a standard FDM printer. Since design software is oriented for beginner-level engineers, it’s now easy to create entry-level and mid-range jobs via mid-volume 3D printing. Two major 3D printing comparisons involve CNC machining; 1) CNC takes longer and 2) usually requires a senior-level technician/engineer to upkeep.

In addition, all software to design with and operate 3D printers is FREE online. At Vision Miner, our engineers have experience both in free CAD software (Onshape, Inventor) and in free slicer software (Simplify3D, Cura).

Automated 3D printers are on the market as well. By automating printing processes like part-removal, as CINCINNATI’s SAAM Printer does, continuous production can exist if a filament is supplied. The popularity of WiFi connectivity features on many machines further drives down the cost of 3D printer operation.

Manufacturing companies often reject low-to-mid-volume jobs, due to economies of scale and cost of making small numbers of one part. But the beauty of high-performance printing is that it enables a company to capture previously undesired jobs, because FDM printers are geared to keep costs low, when volume is low. A 3D printer lets you accept more jobs and increase revenue; plus, you can gain competitive advantage by decreasing your time-to-market.

High-performance, automated 3D printers open the door to increased in-house manufacturing capacity. A 3D printer is an additional machine to rely on, instead of outsourcing jobs and increasing wait time. 

Overall, an automated 3D printer, focused on industrial plastics, is a major game-changer. It’s efficient and versatile for daily operations. Vision Miner will help you consider the jump into high-performance 3D printing. We’ll answer questions and guide you, to meet your needs.