3D printing can have a positive influence on companies active in essentially any field. It makes the efficiency of the company increase considerably while its expenses drop. Sounds too good to be true? But it’s not. 3D printing is an innovative technology which can be used everywhere. The 3d printing efficiency is one of the most important factor that drives success in additive manufacturing industry.
3D printing for architects
Take architecture for example. An architect will let his or her clients see a 3D model of the building on a computer screen or on traditional mockups, but for many people that’s not enough. Clients who have the highest expectations will ask the architect to prepare a 3D model of their house. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time and effort, and in case of the most complex structures is simply impossible. However, 3D printing technology lets you create such a model quickly and almost effortlessly. You just have to print it out.
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3D printing is also the future of the construction industry. For example, Skanska uses it to create one-of-a-kind elements covering the joints of steel pillars supporting the roof. Creating metal casts to fulfill these functions would be very difficult, if not impossible, and therefore prohibitively expensive. In this case 3D printing lowered the cost of the building. It can also make houses cheap overall. The Chinese WinSun company started building cheap houses from recycled materials. Each of the Shanghai-located houses costs just 4,800 dollars, that is about as much as a low-end car or high-end PC.
3D printing in engineering
Another example of how 3D printing is used comes from engineering and robotics industries. If a factory suffers a malfunction of one of its machines, it will also have to suffer through paying through the nose for spares. However, if you have a 3D printer, you can create a model of the element you need (by scanning it with a 3D scanner or designing your own model) and then print as many as you need.
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This way you can shorten the time in which the company does not work to its full capacity and save money that would otherwise be used for spares. One of the Bosch factories uses the Zortrax M200 printers for this very purpose. The savings from the use of this technology have exceeded 80,000 euros.
3D printing in automotive industry
Almost the entire automotive industry uses 3D printing. For example, Volvo used this technology to shorten the wait time for sets of metal tools used to install car seats by 94%. The result was a significant drop in costs. Ford, on the other hand, thanks to using 3D printing to create prototypes of Mustangs was able to shorten time needed by 30 times and costs by 166 times.
Other Ford cars also contain printed components. Volkswagen is another manufacturer fond of 3D printing technology with metal; the German company creates both tools and car parts this way. Moreover, in the future entire cars will likely be made with this technology, which will mean even more money saved.
3D printing efficiency
Another advantage of 3D printing is the possibility to create customized products which perfectly suit the customer’s needs. Furniture designed by the customer? Why not. This technology will also allow for shoes that perfectly fit your foot. This is what Adidas decided to do before unveiling their prototype Futurecraft 3D shoes a year ago. These shoes have a carbon sole printed according to the dimensions of the user’s foot.
In order for the foot to be properly analyzed, the user will need to go for a run on a special treadmill equipped with a scanner. The collected data will be used to print the shoe. Thanks to this solution the customers will be provided with shoes that are a perfect fit for them. Moreover, when they visit the shop in person, it will provide a chance to offer them even more products.
Another example of customization with 3d printed parts:
3D printing in transforming the KUKA robot
All these examples clearly show that 3D printing technology means not only money saved, but also higher quality of products and satisfaction of customers. To put it simply: 3D printing can help any company from any field grow.