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The design industry has been swamped in the past few years by developments in 3D printers. As they become more affordable, with prices now as low as $2,000, smaller companies are starting to consider what use they may have for them. There are several notable benefits of using a 3D printer; however they are far from suitable for everyone, so think carefully before making such a major investment.
A huge selling point of 3D printers is their ability to produce one-off prototypes easily, cheaply and immediately. These can then be shown to clients, partners and manufacturers to provide a greater understanding of the design and the final product. Furthermore, these can be made in small numbers, and there will be no shipping costs required.
If your business offers your customers unique, customized products, then a 3D printer could be for you. The ability to simply add to a basic CAD design template, making it a unique product for your customer, could be a major USP. This can be done cheaply with no shipping costs, and storage costs significantly reduced.
3.Building one off parts
How much space are you committing to spare parts for your machinery, and how much is this costing you? With a 3D printer, these spare parts could be stored much cheaper and more conveniently on a hard drive, and simply printed out when a customer needs it. This will save warehousing space and costs, and allow for a far greater number of parts to be stocked and replaced when required.
3D printers are still a very new innovation and will take a few more years until they are suitable in both price and ability for most businesses. Having said that, its lack of major uptake could also give your firm a unique advantage over your competition, whether that is through more customized products, greater speed to market or simply lower costs. A 3D printer could be a great investment, and may put you ahead of your competition when they finally become more adoptable, however it is certainly not for everyone and will require significant thought before committing to such a new and untested product.
Design your 3D model with ease: ZW3D Download here
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The most valuable use for a designer is getting hands on to the 3D object as soon as possible in the design process which is why this technology has been used that way for the last 10 years. The cheaper desk top machines with material choices just make this so much more accessible to every one. If that is where you want to be, here is a good place to start...
Here you can actually do some comparative list analysis to short-list prospective vendors. The quality, reliability, speed, volume, versatility, price matrix is a quagmire! All the best...
Message 5 of 7
A new 3D printer appeared on the market a week ago, or so! (Around $400-$600)Its extremely cheap for its size, not to mention its possesses its own software!
Check it out, yo!
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If you think there is a more creative one somewhere - please post a link...
Personally I have a Makergear M2 which is brilliant. Real engineering construction with precision components, PLA & ABS, larger envelope and cheaper than Makerbot Replicator.
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