For most businesses, the cost of equipment has been relatively high in the past, but modern technology has made the price of entry into AM production far more competitive.

Fremont, CA : Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, was first introduced in the 1980s and has gained popularity among manufacturers looking to produce small batches of complex parts.

Some businesses are also on the fence about additive manufacturing, unsure if it is the way of the future. As a result, below are five main advantages of additive manufacturing:

Design Freedom

Businesses could only imagine the kind of design creativity that AM manufacturing can provide. It allows for the flourishing of creativity by bringing creative freedom to the forefront without the constraints of time or expense. Engineers can now generate several iterations of a design cost-effectively by moving away from static designs.

Training

Getting the equipment is useless if your workers are unable to use it, and the perceived expense and scarcity of AM training to upskill workforces has deterred many manufacturers from adopting it. However, designers and manufacturers can now choose from a wide range of training programs, ranging from beginner to advanced.

This includes instruction on the equipment and technologies used in AM and professional training to enable workers to use AM. It also includes instruction on material handling and post-production processes.

Reduces Waste

Rather than remove material, AM adds it layer by layer, ensuring that only what is needed is used. As a result, additive manufacturing can minimize production costs and waste by up to 90 percent. Furthermore, several AM-produced pieces are being used to replace conventional throw-away items.

Customization

AM allows designers to deliver a bespoke service, tailoring designs to the needs of specific customers. 3D printing is widely used in various industries, including oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and the automotive industry. It can be used to create products that are customized to individual needs and have limited production runs.

Affordable

For most businesses, the cost of equipment has been relatively high in the past. Still, modern technology has made the cost of entry into AM production far more competitive, with industrial-spec machinery costing about 3-4000 USD.

Manufacturers can also improve the speed and profitability of their operations by using AM to minimize the amount of capital required to scale a company without requiring drastic changes in the future.

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