If you are planning on producing metal parts you can use multiple different manufacturing methods. CNC machining services can create the metal products for you for example. This will be done by implementing drilling, milling, et cetera. However, it is also possible to 3D print a metal part. You can do this yourself if you own a 3D printer that is capable of printing metal products, which usually is not the case. You can in that case outsource the production to a 3D print service. Metal 3D printing is a good idea due to the benefits mentioned below.
3D printing and Prototyping
The prototyping phase can be lengthy and costly. Many costs are often incurred in this phase of product development. Iterations are also time consuming when choosing machining or casting. With 3D printing there are no costs for adjusting a mold, while clients can already have an improved prototype within a week in a cost-effective way. On top of that, additive manufacturing offers you the possibility to use one-off production when it comes to creating metal parts. After all, 3D printing has no economic batch size. This makes it possible to create custom-made, one-off products.
Speed of 3D printing
Every production process requires preparation. But compared to machining or casting, 3D printing takes a lot less preparation time. With conventional techniques this is not only the production time, but also the time required to produce a mold. This ensures that the duration and additional costs of 3D printing are a lot lower. Furthermore, additive manufacturing has shorter lead times as well since no molds or specific writing programs are required. It is even possible to produce a part within a few hours with the help of a 3D printer. However, this does depend on the product, material, and process specifications for example.
3D printing is often the fastest production method when complex spare parts are required and suitable parts cannot be supplied on demand. With additive manufacturing, even the most complex parts can be printed directly. On top of that, it is not even necessary to take stock when you can 3D print in-house or are in touch with a 3D print service that can deliver the parts quickly. After all, with additive manufacturing, spare parts can be obtained at short notice and on request as well. Furthermore, the replacement parts can be improved so they are even better than the original parts.
As mentioned before, no extensive preparations are required for 3D printing. You will not have set up machines and materials too much, for example, although additive manufacturing requires some programming, while you will have to prepare the printer a bit as well. However, a mold is not needed, so the set-up costs will not be too high, which is especially the case when you compare 3D printing to injection molding. 3D printing is also interesting in the start-up process. Revisions can be made and fits checked at an early stage, reducing potential failure costs.