The most comprehensive analysis of 3D printing technology in history

Advantages of 13D printing technologyEconomies of scale are the invisible forces that support the modern industrial economy, and factories and production lines ...

Jul 26,2022 | nicole

rapid manufacturing companies

Advantages of 13D printing technology

Economies of scale are the invisible forces that support the modern industrial economy, and factories and production lines are the hallmarks of mass production in modern industrial societies. rapid manufacturing companiesBut this production is not cheap, and companies must hire skilled technicians and engineers to accurately translate conceptual designs into actual goods, calibrate factory machines, and oversee assembly lines. In order to recoup the upfront investment in design and production, companies must sell a large number of products so that they can benefit from the initial investment. So mass production sacrifices product diversity.

3D printing, on the other hand, is characterized by small batches and customization, reducing the risk and cost of bringing new products to international markets. One can eliminate the need for assembly lines nor factories, nor the need to hire skilled designers and engineers. In his masterpiece "The Long Tail Theory", Chris Anderson describes China's future manufacturing development model as "a mega-scale of small social enterprises and a network of distributed information systems". Through a specific problem analysis, our students believe that 3D printing data technology requirements need to include at least the following ten advantages.

(1) Unlimited design space

Traditional manufacturing techniques and artisans make products with limited shapes and the ability to make shapes is limited by the tools used. For example, traditional wood lathes can only make round items, mills can only process parts assembled with mills, and molding machines can only make die-cast shapes. rapid cnc prototyping3D printers can break through these limitations and open up a huge design space for producing products that are difficult or even impossible to process with traditional processes.

(2) Improving product design

A prototype is the first draft of a product, which helps designers, engineers and manufacturers to make multiple iterations and truly experience the look and feel of the product. Traditionally, prototypes are made by hand with foam or clay. Concept models are created quickly through 3D printing, allowing for better communication between designers and customers. In traditional industrial manufacturing, if a design concept is defective after the finished product, the company has to bear a lot of material waste costs. By using 3D printing technology to create concept models, the original design can be quickly adjusted and continuously improved.

3D printed automotive parts product prototype

In addition to basic concept teaching design work, 3D printing is also used to create functional prototypes, as 3D printing information technology can be made to develop items that are inherently resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, etc. By analyzing prototypes for a variety of different performance tests to improve the main parameters of the final product structure design, the time from design to production is greatly reduced. rapid 3d printing3D printing speeds up the design research process and the need for continuous improvement in product safety and rational design, ergonomic design, marketing and economic marketing, and design methods to achieve further optimization of the product before putting it into production in a more comprehensive construction to create a better product.

3D printed tape holder using functional testing

(3) Production diversification without increasing costs

In the case of conventional manufacturing, the more complex the shape of the object, the higher the manufacturing cost. However, for 3D printers, the cost of manufacturing complex shaped objects does not increase accordingly. In addition, traditional manufacturing equipment is less functional and makes a limited variety of object shapes. A 3D printer can print different shapes, and it can make different shapes every time, just like a craftsman. This manufacturing diversity without increasing the cost of printing will fundamentally disrupt traditional pricing models and change the way our entire manufacturing industry is made up of costs.

3D printed titanium jewelry

(4) No assembly required for products

3D printing technology has the characteristics of social one-piece forming, which can significantly help reduce the cost of business labor and transportation management. Traditional large-scale agricultural production is based on economic chains and assembly lines, in modern information-based factories, machines produce parts with the same components, and then by Chinese workers can be systematically assembled. Product structure component parts more and more, the longer the supply chain and product line will be stretched, the more time and costs required to assemble and transport we spend. The 3D printing feature of integrated molding eliminates the need for reassembly, thus shortening the entire supply chain and saving money on labor and transportation capacity.

General Motors (GE) manufactured a monolithic engine nozzle that initially consisted of 20 parts

(5) Reduced delivery time

Because 3D printing can be done on demand, this just-in-time production will greatly reduce a company's inventory, allowing them to start up 3D printers and customize products to meet the needs of their customers, thus making new business models possible. Zero inventory, zero time delivery production can also reduce the cost of long distance shipping if what people need can be produced locally on demand.

(6) Lower manufacturing skill thresholds.

Traditional manufacturing machine learning requires our skilled technical professionals can carry out research machine adjustment and calibration, training students a skilled workers are often takes years. And 3D printers will require much less operational management skills than traditional teaching equipment, so the emergence of 3D printing will significantly level lower the threshold of the company's production life skills. This freedom from the original high threshold of non-skilled manufacturing will further lead to a multitude of new business and economic models, and can be in a distance education environment or extreme cases for people to be able to provide printing services.

(7) Space-less, portable manufacturing

3D printers have the freedom to move and create objects larger than themselves. For example, injection molding printers can only print objects much smaller than themselves, while some 3d printers can print objects much larger than themselves. In addition, consumer grade 3D printers are also free to move due to their high portability, and there are some home or desktop 3D printers that rely on the advantages of smaller physical spaces required for 3D printers.

Desktop-grade 3D printing devices

(8) Saving raw materials

Traditional metalworking has a very alarming amount of waste, with some finer production possibly even causing 90% of raw materials to be discarded and wasted. And the waste of 3D printers will be greatly reduced. With the advancement of printing materials, 3D printing "net-shape" manufacturing will become a more economical and environmentally friendly processing method.

Using China's Laser Near Net Shaping (LENS) technology to manufacture the company's aircraft engine blades

(9) Infinite combination of materials

While traditional manufacturing machines have difficulty blending multiple raw materials together during the cutting or mold forming process, 3D printed raw materials can be combined in any combination to produce the desired performance structure. For example, the mechanical properties of nylon can be improved in nylon-glass fiber or nylon-carbon fiber composites, the addition of 50% titanium in nickel alloy powder can significantly improve the performance of nylon, and researchers have been studying and developing new composite materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene.

The world's first 3D printed car made of nylon-glass fiber composite

(10) Accurate physical replication

Traditional tapes only have the option of physical delivery through a single entity to ensure that corporate information systems are not lost. And the issue of the emergence of digital Chinese music files allows student information to be detached from the carrier and can be copied indefinitely without degrading audio quality. 3D printing data technology is also expected to extend digital accuracy throughout the design and manufacturing industry sector into the physical world development. 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies will work together to improve the resolution of the transformation of existence forms between the countries serving the physical and digital worlds, reducing the distance between the physical world and the digital century.

3D scanned and then printed portraits

Some of these advantages have already been proven, and some may become a reality in the next 20 or 30 years. 3D printing technology will break through the bottlenecks of traditional manufacturing technologies and provide a broader arena for future manufacturing innovation.

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