I’m helping my customer take their product from concept to reality. They are in need of a prototype part to test fit and function, but they don’t want to spend a lot of their budgeted funds on this phase. What is the best way to get them what they want?
– Saving in San Diego
Dear Saving in San Diego:
A great way to get a customer a tangible sample and keep their wallet intact is to utilize 3D printing. This process, also known as additive manufacturing, is especially useful for low volume and prototype jobs. 3D printing is highly efficient and the benefits are notable.
- R&D: 3D printing allows the end user to verify the final design prior to the production phase. Printing a part gives the customer the necessary hands-on experience when testing the part for fit and function, especially when it’s part of a larger assembly.
- Speed: 3D printing can be completed in a matter of days, whereas the normal prototype process can take a few weeks (and we all know that time is money).
- Cost: 3D printing saves money by reducing time, labor and scrap production. It may help prevent the need for costly tool changes if the design isn’t just right the first go-round.
- Design: Depending on the build window of the 3D printer (ours is 16” x 14” x 16”), the possibility of what can be printed is seemingly endless. Design changes are easy to implement and because the process is so quick, the customer will have a new sample in hand before they know it.
- Media: Parts, components and even tooling can be printed using many different types of materials. Here at Joslyn Manufacturing, we use PC, PC-ABS, Nylon and Ultem, to name a few.
– Joslyn Manufacturing
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