How 3D Printing Helps Companies in Reducing R&D and Manufacturing Cost

3D printing technology is disrupting how companies develop and manufacture their products. Be it automotive, fashion, or manufacturing; every industry can save substantial capital and efforts in launching its new lineup in the market. 

From product designing, prototyping, manufacturing to post-production, additive manufacturing technology streamlines the complete product development phase. Now, engineers can push the traditional innovation boundary and introduce new concepts without expensive tooling. 

This modern advancement allows small businesses to try their hands on effective prototyping and bring several opportunities to grow their product lineup. On this note, let's explore how 3D printing technology streamlines the complete product development phase. 

Additive Manufacturing Benefits in Product Development

The product development phase comes with several complexities when done with traditional methods. From design to prototyping and validation — every process is time-consuming and demands great attention to detail. However, 3D printing ease down the entire R&D process with the following advancements:

Cost-Effective Prototyping

Compared to traditional processes, the 3D printing prototype process is faster, accurate, and cost-effective. Engineers can design and print a functional prototype along with material customization in a shorter turnaround time. As it's an additive method, the material wastage at the prototyping stage is minimal compared to the traditional approach. 

Small businesses can design and print their prototypes at a fraction of the traditional method's price. Also, technicians have the advantage of printing multiple variations of the leading prototype to perform robust functional testing.  

Quick Design Reiteration

Design iteration is a fundamental process of product development, and it helps engineers refine the aesthetics of the final design. However, making frequent changes in structure and then testing every iteration is an expensive task. For reducing the cost, additive manufacturing allows companies to 3D print multiple iterations using technologies like FDM in shorter lead times. 

With the rapid prototyping ability of 3D printing, manufacturers can reduce the overall production cost without compromising with quality and aesthetics of the product. 

Controlled Development Environment

From design to rapid prototyping, the complete product development cycle is shorter and controlled with 3d printing. Engineers can easily create a detailed CAD model and print it without over-complicating the design communication. 

In a traditional approach, the product development begins with simple mockups, then it goes to an expert prototype developer to refine the mockups and so on. This complete process takes excessive time and delays and final product manufacturing. Engineers can overcome this slow phase by directly creating a 3D CAD model and begin the prototyping. 

How 3D Printing Reduces Manufacturing Cost

Additive manufacturing advances the complete manufacturing process and helps companies save substantial costs in multiple ways. Below are vital aspects of 3D printing on how it can help manufacturers save production cost:

High-quality Output at Low Volume

When it comes to low-volume production, it's hard to maintain high quality while keeping control of the production cost. For simplifying the limited volume scenario, 3D printing lets manufacturers directly print the objects without the need for expensive tooling. However, 3D printers also require support to print complex designs, but the quality remains top-notch without increasing the cost. 

As 3D printers follow an additive approach, it becomes feasible to avoid high material wastage and save additional production costs. Even manufacturing a few hundred parts, 3D printing can deliver superior quality in a shorter turnaround time. 

Reduced Manufacturing Cost

3D printing materials are highly cost-effective and are available in multiple varieties to match the product's physical properties. As compared to traditional processes, the material utilization in additive manufacturing is significantly lower. This helps companies keep the manufacturing cost minimum while delivering a high-quality product. 

While manufacturing final products, engineers don't require expensive molds or toolings with 3D printing. It makes the production cycle highly optimized and environmentally friendly. 

On-Demand Production

With additive manufacturing, companies don't need to manufacture and store products in bulk. Engineers can manufacture products on customer demands within a few days. It eliminates the need for renting warehouses and hiring an additional workforce to manage the inventory. 

Even if companies don't have their in-house 3d printers, they can avail full 3d printing service to outsource the manufacturing. It will not only save time but also help companies to ensure the highest standard of product quality. 

Cost-Efficient Personalization

Low-volume product personalization is very cost-effective with 3D printing as compared to the traditional method. Even if the company needs to manufacture a single personalized product, it's possible with 3D printing. 

Along with low-volume personalization, manufacturing companies can also opt for bulk product customization as per market trends. It will help companies grow their product lineup and customer base without aggressive manufacturing overhead. 

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