3D Printing

Beyond prototyping: Scaling up to additive manufacturing for production

By September 26, 2018
DFAM Feature

Most are well-acquainted with additive manufacturing (AM) — as a rapid prototyping tool, at least. And while many companies believe and perpetuate the myth that AM is only a prototyping tool, innovators in a range of markets (e.g., aerospace, healthcare, consumer goods and more) are already using AM for production-grade manufacturing when design, performance and cost factors align.

Exploring AM as a means of production opens up design and performance possibilities simply not possible with CNC machining, urethane casting or injection molding. This article will cover how organizations can:

Housing made additively

Building a business case for adopting production-grade additive manufacturing

Generally speaking, switching to production-grade AM for a part or product makes sense if there’s potential for adding value through:

There are many benefits to making the switch to AM, but of course there are challenges to consider. Producing a part through AM may mean you’re paying a higher per-part cost than conventional manufacturing. However, those fees can be offset because AM also virtually eliminates the need for warehousing, which is critical because housing inventory can add anywhere from 20 to 25 percent to overall costs of production.

Want to learn more about leveraging design to unlock additive capabilities? Be sure to check out our article on applying smart design principles to amplify the benefits of AM. Don’t forget to contact us today, and see how we can help optimize your design for additive. 

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