3D printing makes manufacturing better. With the right additive manufacturing solutions, you’ll streamline design and production workflows, slash costs and lead times, bring products to market faster, and ensure the highest possible product quality. Discover how 3D printers and additive manufacturing are revolutionising the engineering and manufacturing sectors.
3D Printing in Engineering and Manufacturing
How Engineering & Manufacturing Benefit from 3D Printing
Manufacturing businesses are implementing 3D printers into their workflows across industries and sectors. From high-performance aerospace and automotive components to consumer products, additive manufacturing helps shrink development time and unlocks new opportunities. 3D printing can benefit every manufacturer regardless of the application.
In-House Part Production
Acquiring spare parts and functional components fast is vital for keeping workshops and factories running. If machines break, you can’t afford to wait weeks to get the parts you need.
Additive engineering & manufacturing enables manufacturers and engineers to produce parts in-house. The additive nature of 3D printers can reduce material waste and lower part cost, while also opening the door for using improved part structures and materials.
Additionally, 3D printing can drastically shorten lead times — or eliminate them completely. Instead of waiting around for parts to deliver, all you have to do is walk to the printer and pluck them off the printing bed.
Heineken Cuts Part Costs and Delivery Times
Global brewing company Heineken’s plant in Seville, Spain, produces 500 million litres of beer annually. In their quest to improve efficiency and productivity, Heineken introduced Ultimaker S5 3D printers to the plant.
The company now prints spare machinery components and tools that were difficult to source from traditional manufacturers. As a result, Heineken has reduced both part costs and delivery times by 70-90%.
“3D printing has proven to be a technology that helps us, brings value to us, and enables our people to work more efficiently,” said Juan Padilla González, packaging manager at the Heineken Seville plant.
Product design can be a time-consuming process and every bit of time saved is valuable. The faster you plough through design iterations, the faster you can get your product to the market and start seeing a return on your investment.
For a long time, 3D printing was simply known as “rapid prototyping” — and for a good reason. 3D printers can manufacture parts in a matter of hours at a very lower cost. Manufacturers can complete multiple design modifications per day and complete the design process faster and cheaper.
Additionally, certain 3D printing technologies — like SLA printers — manufacture parts with extremely fine details. You can produce prototypes with true-to-life dimensions and surface textures, and get a better idea of the final product.
Albatross Bikes Speed Up Part Design
Albatross Bikes is an American company manufacturing bespoke bicycles and bike frames. To help the business design parts faster, founder Will Hilgenberg turned to Formlabs SLA 3D printers and Draft Resin.
Thanks to the 3D printers and Formlabs’ V2 Draft Resin, Albatross Bikes is able to create and iterate on a design several times in one day. Compared to their previous methods, they are seeing printing speed improvements of 73%.
“We recommend looking at 3D printing not as a substitute for traditional subtractive methods, but to rethink the entire design and production process to leverage quick part turnaround, ease of use, and flexibility of additive production methods,” said Hilgenberg.
Produce cheaper parts in house
Design products faster with accurate prototypes
Combine additive and traditional manufacture
Ensure quality and part fit with 3D Scanners
3D Printed Tooling
Although additive manufacturing is often called a replacement for traditional methods, they don’t need to be rivals. 3D printers can work hand in hand with conventional manufacturing to improve processes and reduce costs.
With 3D printers, it’s possible to quickly manufacture customized parts, tools, and guides for traditional manufacturing machines. Compared to ordering these parts from third parties, your business can realise significant cost and time savings.
Additionally, 3D printing is a fantastic method for creating master models for casting or moulding. In this way, 3D printers can support metal casting or injection moulding operations.
Dlimit Supports Injection Moulding with 3D Printers
Dlimit is a Spanish manufacturer of queue management devices, such as barriers, cones, and roll-up belts. Searching for an efficient solution for custom tooling, they found what they needed in BCN3D 3D printers.
“With additive manufacturing, we fabricate jigs and fixtures, such as the pieces we use to mechanise the parts that come from our plastic injection moulds,” explained Clara Bazán, Dlimit global production manager.
According to Bazán, 3D printing has helped the company become more agile and efficient. They can now get tools within 24 hours and have reduced costs by 200 euros (£169) per piece.
3D Scanning and Manufacturing
3D printers can produce parts quickly and efficiently, but you need an accurate 3D model before you can print anything. With 3D scanners, engineers can quickly digitise complex objects with unparalleled accuracy.
3D scanning a part enables engineers to quickly and easily make modifications to it using CAD software. The 3D model opens a smooth path to getting accurate measurements for additional components or quality assurance.
Scanning can also enable the production of obsolete and out-of-production spare parts. Scanning even broken components lets you fix them in 3D modelling software and print parts that may have been unavailable for decades.
3D Scanners Reduce Blowtech’s Process Times
Scandinavian plastic blow moulding firm Blowtech Group produces consumer products and high-performance parts from plastics. The company was struggling to accurately measure their products for quality inspection.
Thanks to Creaform 3D scanners, Blowtech has resolved its problems. By 3D scanning their product, the company can adjust the models immediately and produce a new prototype. As a result, they have made this process 50% faster.
3D printing benefits both you and your customers in many ways. Your business can create complex part designs and manufacture components at a drastically lower price point and shorter lead times. Your clients will enjoy fast delivery times and high-quality products that boost customer satisfaction and bring you more business
Faster, Cheaper, Better
3D printers can create shapes and geometries that are impossible for conventional subtractive manufacturing. Create overhangs, make parts lighter with latticed structures, and streamline assembly by consolidating multiple parts into one component.
Wasted time is wasted money in manufacturing. 3D printers can print true-to-life prototypes from advanced materials in a matter of hours. Go through multiple design iterations in one day and get your parts to market in record time.
Additive manufacturing technologies produce nearly zero material waste. Create an efficient manufacturing pipeline that reduces waste, saves you money in material costs, and is better for the environment.
Less Material Waste
Advanced 3D printing technologies and thermoplastics are strong and durable. You can create parts as strong as metal with a significantly lower weight and excellent mechanical properties.
Communicate Your Ideas
Easily describe your plans and ideas to your clients or colleagues. Showcase designs and concepts in detail with accurate three-dimensional prototypes. Save time and improve your ability to communicate with your clients.
Communicate Your Ideas
Why Solid Print?
With your purchase from Solid Print3D, you are not only paying for the hardware, but the world-class support and training that we provide is made accessible to you. Whatever your requirement, we, as a leading UK reseller will aim to support you in the operation of your new machine.
World Class Support
At Solid Print, we pride ourselves on our honest, impartial advice and best-in-class solutions.
Our friendly support team are always on hand to listen and understand your exact requirements before we offer any solution. Solid Print support is provided by our own support engineers who are trained on all of our machines.
We work alongside our sister business Solid Solutions, the UK’s largest Solid Works reseller, offering seamless CAD to 3D Print support.
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