Manufacturing with 3D Printers
The Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is revolutionizing the traditional production process.
Additive manufacturing improves upon traditional subtractive manufacturing processes by eliminating unnecessary material waste, decentralizing production to reduce shipping and transportation costs and eliminating design constraints not possible with machining. This results in designs that drastically improve weight to strength ratios and much more easily incorporate complex shapes.
Stop Tooling, Start Innovating
3D printing is sometimes used to create low cost tools and jigs for the production of parts. However, engineers are most excited that 3D printing, when used for direct digital manufacturing (DDM), eliminates the need for tooling and jigging altogether. Content-to-print technology means that upfront tooling investment is eliminated. This tooling investment often happens several times, as rounds of edits are made to prototypes, making agile, true innovation cost-prohibitive.
Today, DDM is used mostly for low-volume manufacturing of end-use products, or to create parts needed to manufacture the products. It is a powerful complement to traditional manufacturing processes that enable innovation and the low-cost, in-house replacement or production of parts.