If you roam around the Internet for a few minutes, you will come across a plethora of articles that preach to how 3D printing has innovated many industries. Many of those articles neglect to mention the financial benefits of 3D printing; until now.
Your company’s ability to minimize its production line downtime and maintain high uptime will ultimately reduce your costs, improve your time to market, and keep your customer relationships strong. Although there are many strategies out there that can give you an edge, it takes only the failure of a simple piece of equipment that can your operation into jeopardy. Let’s look closer at how 3D printing can ease this tension and give your organization a chance to pad your pocketbook by lowering costs and increasing potential profitability.
How The Auto Industry Has Benefitted From 3D Printing
Many industries have seen the benefits of 3D printing for both speed and convenience in recent years, which has left a positive indentation on their bottom line financials. One of the most notorious industries to see these positive benefits is the automotive industry which has seen electric vehicle demand skyrocket from consumers looking to drive vehicles that give off lower emissions, yet still are fast and efficient.
Volkswagen who is among the leaders with the ID.3 — the automaker’s first mass-market electric vehicle — will eventually utilize 3D printed components. Many other major automakers including BMW and Jaguar Land Rover are also piloting or deploying 3D printing technology to trim vehicle weights, speed parts production and reduce costs. This not only has the ability to decrease tooling costs for prototyping, it also decreases labor costs and turnaround times for development which can allow these manufacturers to lower the total vehicle cost to the customer whilst still maintaining a sizable profit margin.
How The Construction Industry Has Benefitted From 3D Printing
The construction industry is also notorious for using 3D printing technology to revolutionize the future of building affordable housing. Construction technology startups have been constructing 3D printers that can build a 2,000 square foot family home in three days; not three to six months, which is par for the course in the industry at large.
3D printing is also allowing builders to rebuild entire communities for humanitarian purposes without having to go too far into the red to do so. This allows these builders to further their humanitarian efforts while also turning a profit by building low cost housing for families in developed nations.
How Dental Practices Have Benefitted From 3D Printing
3D printing has also seen incredible positive effects for orthodontia, sometimes decreasing the costs of creasing custom 3D-printed mouth molds by as much as 60%. Many dental practices are using 3D printing to make more than 50,000 aligners in a single day, a feat that typically takes months to accomplish. 3D printing also allows these businesses to recycle molds once they’ve been used and turn that material into pellets for injection molding that can be used for other dental means.
Why Is 3D Printing So Profitable For These Industries?
The true cost benefit in using 3D printing is in the molding and casting process as this has historically costed companies thousands of dollars (with most projects requiring multiple molds) before the 3D printing was available. These costs can add up quickly since these molds need to be created prior to any product or market testing which can therefore cost tens of thousands of dollars before it even starts generating revenue for the company. What’s worse is that even if the product turns out to be a dud, there’s no way to recoup what you’ve already spent.
3D printing eliminates the need to develop mold after mold through the course of development, as materials are printed directly onto a surface to create a product. Another benefit of 3D printing is the lower cost threshold per order and potential for low order volumes which make it ideal for testing new materials. Even if 3D printing is not the long-term strategy for a specific product or collection, it’s flexibility allows companies to test new concepts prior to investing in large production runs which can save them big time in the long term.