11 advantages of 3D printing

(1) Low-cost manufacturing of complex items

As we all know, using traditional manufacturing methods, the more complex the shape and structure of the processed items, the higher the manufacturing cost. Therefore, in order to pursue the lowest investment in production costs, manufacturers often mass-produce standardized components through labor segmentation and standardized operating procedures, which is difficult to meet the diversified needs of customers.

But for 3D printing, relying on the same principle of the processing process, without the need for molds and mechanical processing, even products with complex shapes will not increase production costs and labor requirements too much.

3D printing reduces the cycle and cost of sample trial production and small batch production, which is conducive to the development of new products, personalization and the development of the luxury customized products industry.

(2) The product has a short processing cycle and high production accuracy

3D printing technology can optimize many complicated processes in the traditional manufacturing process, and directly manufacture complex structures, so as to find problems in product modeling and structural design as soon as possible, and reduce the subsequent other processes caused by frequent design changes. Rework and cumulative losses have significantly improved the efficiency of new product development and the success rate of putting them into the production line.

For example, 3D printing does not require a mold opening process, which greatly saves operating time; the characteristic of one-time molding greatly reduces the workload of post-assisted processing and reduces the outsourcing processing stage, which effectively guarantees some confidential fields (such as aviation, nuclear power, military and other industries) ) Security of confidential data.

At the same time, it also reduces the accumulation of errors in the post-processing process, making the product more accurate, especially in high-end precision machinery industries such as automobiles, airplanes, and nuclear power. The 3D printing technology can realize the natural and seamless connection of the products, there is no parting line, no unnecessary gaps, so that the product structure is more stable, and the rigidity and strength are significantly higher than that of the traditional manufacturing process.

Compared with traditional production technology, 3D printing technology can increase the efficiency of mechanical processing by 3.5 times, shorten the product development cycle by 30%-60%, and save production cost by 30%-50%.

(3) Diversity of product types and personalized design

Traditional mechanical equipment is limited by its functions, and the types of products manufactured are also very limited. However, 3D printing technology does not require the purchase of new machinery and equipment, or the training of new professional and technical personnel. With the same 3D printer, countless different forms of products can be printed, and it can form assembly-free structures and structures that cannot be achieved by traditional techniques. The complex porous structure realizes a personalized customized experience for users. The tension and embarrassment between designers and products, designers and users, and users and products have been relieved by the emergence of 3D printing technology.

(4) Integrated molding manufacturing of products

Traditional large-scale system production requires that different parts are produced separately, and then assembled and adjusted by workers or robots on the assembly line. The more parts and components of the product assembly consumes more labor and time costs.

The most typical example is the manufacturing process of electronic circuits. People must first individually manufacture the internal plastic and ceramic parts one by one through different mechanical equipment, and then assemble them to form the metal parts of the electronic circuit. 3D printing can realize the integrated molding of products. Through layered and zoned manufacturing, different materials can be used to print different parts at the same time, which reduces many intermediate links, eliminates complicated assembly processes, and saves manpower. Material resources. In the traditional way of manufacturing parts, the entire production process generally takes several months, while the 3D printing technology may only take a few years or even a few hours, which greatly improves production efficiency.

Boeing uses 3D printing integrated molding technology to print a jet airliner’s duct, which replaces more than 20 components as a whole, effectively reducing component storage space and reducing management overhead.

(5) Unlimited design of technology and form

Traditional manufacturing technology is restricted by tools, technological level, processing methods, etc., and the form of manufactured products is also restricted. For example, mold making machines can only produce mold casting molds, traditional wooden lathes can only produce round products, and rolling mills can only process assembled parts with milling cutters. And 3D printing technology can break through these limits and provide designers with more possibilities. At the same time, the emergence of 3D printing technology may enable many old products to be re-excavated and improved and redesigned, bringing new and extraordinary creations.

(6) Strong operability of 3D printing machine

Traditional craftsmanship requires professional craftsmen to master skilled professional skills. Even in the mass production and computer era, a large number of experienced professionals are still required to operate and calibrate the machine. 3D printing has created a new business model. No matter how complex the item is, as long as the computer source file is obtained, anyone can produce the item in any environment, and the operation is simple and easy. Unskilled manufacturing provides the possibility for ordinary people to manufacture products in remote environments or under extreme conditions.

(7) High portability of manufacturing machines

Compared with traditional manufacturing machines, the production capacity of 3D printers is more powerful. For example, limited by the physical volume of the machine, traditional injection molding machines can only produce products that are much smaller than their own, while 3D printers can produce products as large as the printing table due to their small size and easy movement. The advantages of higher portability make 3D printers expected to become a necessary daily necessities for homes or offices in the future. The volume of household 3D printers currently on the market is basically the same size as ordinary printers. Of course, some industrial-grade 3D printers are similar to traditional industrial equipment and require a special production environment, so portability is not applicable.

(8) Green environmental protection of production products

Traditional metal processing methods will cause nearly 90% of the metal raw materials to be discarded, which is likely to cause serious waste of resources and seriously endanger environmental health. Another hidden benefit of 3D printing technology is that it can reuse the remaining materials after processing, which not only effectively alleviates the tension between supply and demand of some non-renewable resources (such as rare earth metals), but also greatly reduces the generation of by-products and waste.

At the same time, the designed global “electronic transportation” replaces the transportation links of raw materials and finished products, enabling factories to produce products nearby, simplifying and eliminating complex production lines and parts supply chains, reducing product carbon emissions from an environmental protection point of view, and increasing The global “resource production efficiency”. With the gradual development of printing materials and technology, 3D printing is expected to become a more environmentally friendly processing method with “zero emission, net shaping”. Another major contribution of 3D printing to environmental protection is its “zero inventory” feature. 3D printing technology allows manufacturers to produce and manufacture products on demand, without the need to establish product storage mechanisms, or even to build spare parts inventory, reducing cost investment risks and Waste of discarded products. Especially in the military field, it is of great significance. When the military needs to ensure adequate supply of weapons reserves at foreign military bases and battle fronts, the deployment of 3D printers and raw materials can promptly and quickly guarantee the continuous reserves of military weapons, which will be developed in the future. 3D printing technology can print parts at any time, reducing the transportation and assembly of a large number of heavy spare parts.

(9) Diversified production of raw material combinations

Since today’s industrial equipment is processed by cutting raw materials, casting molds, and multi-dimensional processing, it is difficult to simply integrate raw materials of different properties into very stable new materials. With the in-depth study of the fusion of multi-materials by 3D printing technology, a variety of possibilities have been provided for the mixing of materials with different characteristics, and many functionally graded structures and heterogeneous material structures with unique properties and functions have been generated, which optimizes product performance and It helps to achieve lightweight product structure and further improves material utilization.

(10) The close relationship between manufacturing and service industries

Another major impact of the 3D industry on the global economy is that the industrial boundaries between manufacturing and service industries are becoming increasingly blurred, so that various industries are no longer the simple division of labor relations before, but present a kind of mutual integration and increasingly close relationship. development trend. Manufacturing enterprises can obtain various user service requirements through the Internet and minimize the configuration cost of each production factor. On the other hand, the network platform provides a wider range of channels for service sales and promotes the ability of new products to market globally in a short period of time. With the advent of the experience society, product experience and service value account for an increasing proportion of the overall product use value. This requires manufacturers and distributors to cooperate closely, not only providing basic product functions, but also Supporting a series of follow-up hidden services (such as supporting information systems, software systems, product maintenance services, etc.) play an active role, only in this way can the comprehensive strength of the product be improved and a place in today’s fiercely competitive society.

(11) Miniaturization of production models

In the traditional industrialized manufacturing process, once the parameters of the automated mechanical equipment are determined, it is difficult to make changes, so it is suitable for the manufacture of a single type of product. And 3D printing technology makes the manufacturing system more flexible and tolerant. It can be quickly adjusted to adapt to different print production tasks by rearranging and combining, reusing and updating the combination of systems or subsystems. The “third industrial revolution” brought about by 3D printing technology has successfully transformed a large amount of physical material flow into a virtualized information flow in the context of the information age, which may fundamentally change the original organization of production. A computer and a 3D printer can carry out product development and manufacturing. This low-threshold production mode weakens the intensive production advantages of large enterprises, increases the survival opportunities of small and medium-sized enterprises and even individual entrepreneurs, and makes large-scale Factory production has shifted to a brand new model of socialization, communityization and even personalization.