What Can 3D Printing Do?
3D printing has become increasingly democratized in the past few years. The press releases daily updates highlighting the brilliance of the emerging technology, but what can 3D Printing do exactly? Is it possible to use it not only for prototype but also for production ?
If you’re looking for the essential information about 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, you’re in the right place. The following page aims to level you up on this new way of producing objects.
The information is organized as follows:
What do 3D Printing enable?
The invention of 3D printing target 2 things: reduce time to get the first version of a product and emancipate many constraints that are not possible with traditional production methods. For example, with 3D printing, it is possible to print complex geometric shapes and interlocking parts that require no assembly. It is also possible to produce single objects, in small quantities, at low cost and fast delivery. This technology also helps in the reduction of production-related material loss. For more information on the benefits of 3D printing compared to plastic molding and other manufacturing processes, you can refer to our comparison page between 3D printing and traditional manufacturing methods.
3D Printing can produce different objects without creating specific tooling or even using several tools. This is how 3D Printing helps increasing flexibility in the production flow and helps reducing industrial expenses. Since there’s no need to build dedicated production line, it helps also significatively to save time: 3D Printing enables to innovate faster and mechanize faster. Since 3D Printing makes a replica of the 3D files one by one, so economies of scale can’t be realized when the same file is produced several time: this is clearly different from series manufacturing methods which aim for producing millions of units of the same objects. On the contrary, 3D Printing is the perfect method for on-demand, ‘sur-mesure’ and customization needs. There are a lot of other good reasons to choose 3D Printing instead of other manufacturing methods. For more information on the benefits of 3D printing compared to plastic molding and other manufacturing processes, you can refer to our comparison between 3D printing and traditional manufacturing methods page.
Finally 3D Printing gives to everyone the power to manufacture objects only when they are needed or desired. It’s a fantastic process for the creative ones who wish to make something out of their imagination. 3D Printing enables in this way many people to produce and sell their creations by skipping traditionnal edition and distribution networks. 3D Printing is also usefull to reproduce objects that are no longer on sale, for instance in order to repair an old bike for which spare parts are discontinued.
3D printing for industry and for the general public
3D printing has been growing in the media spotlight in recent years. This additive manufacturing techniques are far from being a brand new technology. This 3D printing method has been used in many professional environments for nearly 30 years.
3D printers now occupy an ever more important place in the media, this is mainly due to the opening of this technology to the general public. Having for a long time been restricted to professionals and industrial prototyping, 3D Printing now allows printing of parts and finished products and has become accessible to the general public.
3D Printers are usually divided into 2 categories: home 3D printers and professionnal 3D printers. This distinction is not always true: some companies own home 3D printers for the very early stages of a prototype and the general public can have access to professional-grade 3D printers in FabLabs or with online 3D printing services such as Sculpteo.
However, be aware that the 3D printing technology is significantly different between professional printer and 3D printer available for the general public. Most 3D printers for the general public use filament deposition method (FDM) and produce almost exclusively objects in ABS or PLA plastic, professional 3D printers can print many materials with a higher level of precision.
Beyond the awesome stories that come in the media spotlight, 3D printing has already made a shift in the manufacturing process of various industries such as dental and hear-aiding, aerospace, civil and military aeronautics, jewelry… The more we work on 3D Printing technology, the more we figure out that very few industries won’t take benefit from 3D Printing!
Professional 3D printers for everyone: Sculpteo
Sculpteo is a 3D printing service online. Our printing centers are exclusively equipped with high-performance professional 3D printers. We have several materials and different finishes are available. Our service is available to all, whether you are an self-employed and small businesses, larger structure that is not equipped with a professional 3D printers, or to individuals for their personal creative needs.
Our ambition is to offer to all the ability to manufacture objects in our factory by controlling our 3D printers directly from a desktop. 3D Printing should not be a matter of techniciens: it has to be an affordable and easy way for all to produce faster and better.
For more information, visit our section about us or try our service now and Transferring a 3D File. By doing so, you will access an immediate price quote as well Manage your 3D files thanks to our free tools.