It’s true: 3D printers are changing the way commerce works. No longer must companies build expensive manufacturing plants, hire numerous laborers or purchase acres of storage space for inventory in order to produce a product. Now, thanks to 3D printers, the whole process is as simple as uploading a file and clicking “send.” And while this ease of use is a big plus to most companies, the advantages of 3D printers don’t stop there. In fact, a number of other benefits exist that can be downright game-changing for companies that need products, parts or small components manufactured. Read on to learn more!
Advantages of 3D Printers
When you choose to use a 3D printer over more traditional manufacturing methods, the list of resulting benefits is quite long. From significant cost savings and faster production times to more creative freedom and a decreased carbon footprint, there is no shortage of advantages with this manufacturing method.
Some of the benefits of 3D printers you could enjoy include:
- Reduced overhead costs. A 3D printer reduces your overhead costs significantly, and in more ways than one. First, it cuts down on material costs. Instead of using a big block of plastic, metal or other material and cutting the product out of it (subtractive manufacturing,) you’re able to use only the materials absolutely necessary for the build (additive manufacturing). This not only cuts your upfront costs for materials, it also reduces the funds you’d normally spend on transporting and disposing of that waste.
A 3D printer also basically eliminates your labor costs. While you do need someone to design the product and send it to the printer, that’s about it. You don’t need someone to pull parts off conveyor belts and put components together; it’s all done quickly and seamlessly via the printer.
- Greater creativity. This is one of the best advantages of 3D printers. Unlike with traditional manufacturing methods, you’re not limited by your workforce or the machines you’re using. A 3D printer lets you create virtually anything you can imagine. Use any plastic, metal, ceramic, glass or alloy material you want, and get creative with colors, intricate details or anything else your product requires.
- Faster product delivery. The 3D printing process can be completed anywhere in the world as long as a printer is available. That means you can produce your products locally, right where your customers live. For example, if a product is ordered in Canada, a 3D printing facility in Canada can receive your product design, print it out and ship it from there. Then you don’t have to pay costly shipping or customs fees, and your customer gets the product quickly, easily and affordably.
- Creation of small-scale, lightweight models and prototypes. Many products are just too large or bulky to take on sales calls. Unfortunately, that can make closing deals difficult. Buyers want to see and feel a product before they invest in it; otherwise, it’s just not worth the risk. Thankfully, this is yet another area where a 3D printer can help. With one, you can easily and quickly produce detailed, to-scale models and prototypes of larger products, parts and components. Then your team can take them on sales calls, to pitch meetings and more to ensure they make that sale.
Do you want to enjoy these advantages of 3D printers at your company? Then join Kraftwurx today. We’ll help you create the product or prototype you need quickly and inexpensively. For more information, call 281-256-9737.
With 3D printing, you’re not limited to just one method of production. In fact, about ten different strategies are currently used in 3D printing. Among these are fused deposition modeling, inkjet printing, digital light processing, and finally, one of the most popular methods: selective laser sintering or SLS.
Selective laser sintering is a method of additive manufacturing that creates solid objects out of powder metals, plastic and other materials. Unlike subtractive manufacturing, which takes materials away to form the product’s shape, selective laser sintering only uses the materials that are needed to build the product from the ground up.
How Selective Laser Sintering Works
Selective laser sintering uses a high-powered laser, typically made of carbon dioxide, to fuse a powdered metal, plastic, ceramic, glass or alloy material together to form a tangible 3D object.
To start the process, a computer-aided design (CAD) file or digital design of the product must be uploaded to the printer. Then, the design is broken down by the machine into a number of equal horizontal cross-sections. The printer will build these one at a time, stacking them on top of each other until the final product is complete.
Once the cross-sections have been processed, the powdered material is laid across the build platform. The laser then fuses the powdered material together into the shape of the first cross-section. After one cross-section is finished, another layer of material is put down, and the second cross-section is fused directly on top of it. This continues until every cross-section has been laid and fused.
Benefits of Selective Laser Sintering
The first and foremost benefit of using selective laser sintering is its cost-effectiveness. Because of its additive nature, selective laser sintering produces no waste. That means there’s no extra cost to transport said waste, and there’s no need to dispose of any harmful or toxic chemicals. Additionally, there is no physical labor involved, so there are no salaries, benefits or other labor costs to incur.
Another benefit of selective laser sintering is that it can be produced locally. Because SLS only requires the work of one machine to manufacture and produce a product, the process can be done virtually anywhere. If a customer from Washington orders a product online, it can be printed, packaged and shipped from a 3D printer in their state, cutting down on shipping costs and putting the product in the customer’s hands more quickly and easily.
Selective laser sintering is also better on the environment and produces a lower carbon footprint than traditional manufacturing methods. No extra waste is added to local landfills, and there are no manufacturing plants to pollute the air or overuse energy.
History and Uses of Selective Laser Sintering
Selective laser sintering was first developed in the 1980s by Dr. Carl Deckard and Dr. Joe Beaman, who worked at the University of Texas at the time. The two started DTM, a 3D manufacturing business that was eventually absorbed by 3D Systems in 2001.
Since its invention, selective laser sintering has grown significantly in popularity, especially within industries that require short-run products or highly customized parts and components for larger machines. The aerospace industry, for example, is one area where SLS has seen growth, as it only requires parts and products in small quantities.
Learn More About SLS
Do you think your business could benefit from using the selective laser sintering process? If you need short-run products or parts, require customizability, or just want to create quick prototypes of your new products and ideas, SLS could be for you. Contact Kraftwurx today at 281-256-9737 to learn more, or log onto our online 3D printing community to get started.
Affordable 3D printing is great for a number of reasons. It can help you visualize new and one-of-a-kind products, lead to a successful and lucrative business, and allow you to make handy, lightweight tools and prototypes for use in sales—but it doesn’t stop there. A 3D printer can actually be used around the house, too!
It’s true—affordable 3D printing can make household fixes and projects simple, fast and easy on the pocketbook. Here are just a few items you can repair with 3D printing:
- Appliances—Create gears, small mechanical devices and other components for your vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine, printer or other in-home appliances and machines.
- Electronics—Affordable 3D printing also allows you to create custom circuit boards, wiring and other electronic elements that can be used to fix lamps, clocks, fans, game systems and more.
- Furniture—Knobs and cabinet pulls can be prone to breaking, especially if you’ve had them a while. With a 3D printer, this is an easy fix. Just compile design data for the knob or handle (or create a completely new design!), print it out and replace the part on your furniture.
- Tools—Missing a drill bit? Lose a button on your leaf blower? Affordable 3D printing can help with this too. Use it to create small replacement parts, buttons and pieces, and you’ll have your tools functioning in no time.
- Car—All too often, car owners are sent to specialty body shops or dealerships after a wreck, since parts for their vehicles are limited. A 3D printer circumvents this process and allows you to create any small part or component your car may need, right from the comfort of your own home.
Want to use affordable 3D printing to your advantage around the house? Contact Kraftwurx today at 281-256-9737 or join our online community at www.kraftwurx.com/community.
The 3D printing process isn’t just for people who want to make money or start a business. It has many practical, everyday uses that can benefit virtually anyone. From making small fixes to your home and appliances to creating customized gifts for your friends and loved ones, 3D printed products can prove to be extremely useful when it comes to day-to-day life.
Here are just a few ways you can use 3D printed products in your world:
- Gifts—Want to impress your loved ones on their birthday, at Christmas or for an anniversary? Give them a completely unique present by using 3D printing. Design and print gifts locally through Kraftwurx, or browse our current listings of 3D printed products and customize or personalize them for your loved one’s enjoyment. Either way, they’ll love their one-of-a-kind gift!
- DIY work—Make household projects easier by incorporating 3D printed products into the mix. Use a 3D printer to produce that hard-to-find part for your vintage Cadillac, create a circuit board and automate your garage lights, or manufacture a missing door hinge you lost years ago. Whatever your DIY project need, 3D printing is sure to help.
- Home décor—You can also use a 3D printer to create customized artwork and décor for your home or workspace. Generate ceramics or sculptures for your home or garden, or make small-scale models of larger pieces and use them as centerpieces, knick-knacks or wall hangings. With so many unique options, you’ll find just the right enhancement.
- Work and school—Improve your work or school life through 3D printing. Use a 3D printer to create models, prototypes and others tools that can be used as visual aids to amp up your presentations, pitch meetings and other important projects. Your audience will be impressed, and you may lock down that top grade or sale.
Want to learn more about everyday uses for 3D printed products? Contact Kraftwurx today at 281-256-9737 or join our online 3D printing community!