The additive manufacturing industry continues to grow exponentially, trending towards eclipsing the $26 billion mark sometime in the next five years.
As more manufacturers embrace the lower costs and higher efficiencies offered by advanced 3D printing technology, implementing additive manufacturing into your processes now looks more appealing than ever.
If you have not taken the time to evaluate the efficiency of your current processes, or if you recently have wondered how additive manufacturing can improve your bottom line — then it’s a great time to learn more about the benefits.
There are many ways to benefit from additive manufacturing, including:
- Production and Assembly: Alignment tools, holding fixtures, end effectors, milling fixtures and many other tools can be improved using AM. These tools can be made lighter, less bulky and can be customized for a specific job down to the smallest detail. Oftentimes, the weight reduction on these tools can be considerable.
- Shipping and Logistics: Anytime you can create manufacturing aids to assist in organization and process efficiency, it helps your bottom line. Creating these tools with 3D printing allows them to be specifically designed for the parts or tools they carry. AM makes complex designs possible, and can create tools that might otherwise be too time consuming, expensive, or even impossible to create. AM can also help with creating packaging and nested carrying trays.
- Quality Control and Inspection: Inspection and quality control tools can be produced faster and for less money than traditional tools. Some of these tools include check gauges, test fixtures, go-no-go gauges and surrogate parts. The ease of 3D printing these tools allows for more checks and inspections to be implemented at a lower cost.
- Health and Safety: AM tools can be added to the inventory where there may not have been tools before due to cost, weight or other factors. These tools include hand and wrist guards, holding devices, bumpers and guards, and ergonomic conversions that can be specifically tied to the worker and/or task. Lighter tools can also reduce injury or strain on workers on the factory floor.