One of the main advantages of 3D printing is that the production speed of parts is more efficient compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Models with complex designs can be exported from the software and produced using a 3D printer within a few hours. The advantage of this is that the design ideas can be quickly verified and iterated.
In the past, it may take days or even weeks to manufacture prototypes through traditional processing methods, while designers can obtain models within a few hours through 3D printing. Although more industrial 3D printers take longer to print and post-process parts, the ability to produce functional final parts in small and medium batches provides a huge time-saving advantage compared to traditional manufacturing techniques (usually for hand-offs). The delivery time is advanced, and a separate injection mold may take several weeks).
Manufacturing costs can be divided into three categories: machine operating costs, material costs and labor costs.
Machine operating cost: Most household 3D printers consume power similar to a computer. Industrial 3D printing technology may consume more electricity to produce individual parts. However, the ability to generate complex geometries in just one step can lead to higher efficiency and turnover. Machine operating costs are usually the lowest contribution to the total cost of manufacturing.
Material cost: The material cost of 3D printing varies by technology. Household FDM printers 1KG Filament about $20, as Longer PLA Filament, free ship from our local warehouse to Euro, USA and Russia
Labor cost: One of the main advantages of 3D printing is the lower labor cost. Except for post-processing, most 3D printers only need one or two operators. The machine then follows a fully automated process to produce the parts. Compared with traditional manufacturing, which usually requires skilled machinists and operators, the labor cost of a 3D printer is almost zero.
Compared with the traditional manufacturing process, the cost of small batch 3D printing is very competitive. For the production of prototypes for verification of shape and assembly, it is much cheaper than other alternative manufacturing methods (such as injection molding) and is generally competitive in manufacturing disposable functional parts. With the increase in production, traditional manufacturing technology will become more cost-effective, so 3D printing is an important supplement to traditional manufacturing.
Reduce potential risks
If you accidentally make a defective prototype, it will waste the designer's time and money. The use of traditional mold processing and manufacturing methods, even small changes, may bring huge financial expenses (high mold opening costs).
People can verify the design by printing prototypes that can be used for production before purchasing expensive manufacturing equipment (such as molds or tooling and fixtures), thereby eliminating the risk in the prototyping process. This helps to verify the feasibility of the project through trial and error at low cost of 3D printing before the large investment required for large-scale production.
Complexity and design freedom
Traditional manufacturing methods have relatively high restrictions on the products that can be manufactured. Design requirements such as draft angle, undercut and tool entry are not suitable.
For 3D printing, there may be some restrictions on the minimum size features of accurate printing, but in most cases, the main limitation is how to optimize the printing direction to reduce the support dependence and the possibility of printing failure. This provides designers with a lot of design freedom and allows very complex geometric shapes to be easily created.