3 Dimension Print


Dimension 3D Printer Range

Saving Money and Time with 3D printing

Firstly what is 3D printing?

  • low cost way of building concept and prototype models
  • it is to the design world the equivalent of a laser printer in an office environment.
  • its adoption is growing rapidly along with the unprecedented growth of 3D CAD solid modelling

3D printing compliments the more traditional rapid prototyping (RP) technology, but has significant cost advantages. Both rapid prototyping and 3D printing technologies build models layer by layer from STL data. When comparing the cost difference per part between 3D printing and RP systems they can be significant. By comparing the total cost of ownership of the systems Including material, capital depreciation, system maintenance and labour, a part built using RP technology can cost nearly twice as much as with 3D printing.

Due to their larger capital expense RP systems are often located centrally with a dedicated staff function similar to an in-house service bureau. 3D printers on the other hand are, more affordable, smaller and suitable for installation near an end user, even on their desk,  providing convenience and ease of use that eliminates “departmental delay.”

Inhouse versus Outsource.

Traditionally enlisting a service provider to build prototype parts would require a not inconsiderable element of trust due to the exchanging of company confidential STL data. Turnaround time is another area for risk and depends on the complexity and quality of the STL file and the capacity of the service provider. Time delays are exaggerated also due to product designs inherent iterative process involving multiple loops which are further complicated by involving a third party..

While there are many variables in comparing service provider costs with internal 3D printing costs when putting together a business plan, a company regularly sending parts to an external bureau could, by comparison, justify the outlay on a 3D printer in a matter of months and in the process maintain control and confidentiality internally.

Change costs more over time.

Studies show that a product which is delayed by six months to market will potentially loose up to 33% of its gross profit potential. To this end design cycles are fast becoming more compressed and accelerated. 3D printing can be instrumental in compressing design cycle times by enabling better communication and collaboration between everyone involved in the process. In a world where speed to market is an imperative 3D printing could provide the significant competitive advantage your products need.