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Should I buy my own 3D printer or outsource?

Firstly to make this decision you need to ask yourself a few questions. How frequently would you use the 3D printer? How many parts do you need to print? Will all the parts you produce fit on the build volume …

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Tom Marlow-Gilks

July 16, 2020

Firstly to make this decision you need to ask yourself a few questions. How frequently would you use the 3D printer? How many parts do you need to print? Will all the parts you produce fit on the build volume of the printer?

How frequently would you use the 3D printer?

If you are only looking to print a one part a year then investing in a 3D printer isn’t going to make much financial sense however if you are looking print parts more frequently, once a month, one a week then getting a 3D printer in house is going to be a much more feasible option.

How many parts do you need to print?

If you need to manufacture bespoke or small batches of components then outsourcing these can be expensive. With 3D printing you are to print complex and bespoke parts at no extra cost which in comparison to traditional manufacturing methods is a huge advantage.

Will all the parts you produce fit on the build volume of the printer?

Large format 3D printers can be expensive. If the majority of the parts you need to produce are large then obviously a large format machine is essential. However if you are considering purchasing a large format printer for the occasional large part it is often much more cost effective to purchase a smaller 3D printer which can cater for 80% of the parts you are looking to produce and to outsource the occasional larger parts.

3d printers Consumables

I’ve never used a 3D printer before I don’t know what I’m doing

One of the concerns that some people have when it comes to 3D printing is they have either never used a 3D printer before or have used a cheap hobby printer and had issues. Outsourcing helps to eliminate these issues however paying for these expertise does come at a premium. We provide hands on training courses get you up to speed and learn how to use 3D printers effectively. We also provide support on the printers so any issues you have we can get you back up and running.

3D Printing Training Manual Design For Additive

Other considerations

Having a printer in house also opens up other possibilities where you start to think about other applications the 3D printer can be used that you may not have thought of previously.

Outsourcing your parts have considerably higher costs and lead times compared with printing in house. Equally design changes and iterations will also impact on cost and lead times.

Summary

If you would like to find out more about what is going to be the best option for you. You can contact us on 01926 333777 or drop us an email at info@solidprint3d.co.uk.

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