Many small and medium businesses experience difficulty in scaling growth and remaining competitive with the few resources and manpower that they have. With 3D printing, they can improve their operations to be more efficient, cost-effective, and scalable without bleeding money.
Here are ways that 3D printing can make small to medium businesses more successful and innovative.
1. Rapid prototyping and proof of concept
For businesses that are in the nascent stage, the ability to create a proof of concept and prototypes in a speedy manner comes in handy when pitching your project to potential investors and customers. You’ll never know when an opportunity will come up, so it is important to always be ready with a prototype and reiterate it at a moment’s notice.
Creating a prototype or proof of concept will help your potential customers and clients see your product or project at every stage. Unfortunately, prototyping is an expensive and time-consuming process when done traditionally. Fortunately, 3D printing cuts down costs, time, and effort when producing prototypes. It also makes it easy to correct a mistake or change something in the design at the last minute.
2. Reduces resources spent
3D printing makes small and medium enterprises more competitive as it reduces overall costs. Manufacturing using 3D printing technology (or what the industry calls additive manufacturing) uses more affordable materials, eliminates costly moulds, reduces production time, and minimises production volume. It also requires less manpower, saving your company thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
3. Reduces waste
In traditional manufacturing processes like injection moulding, you have to commit to a large volume of production. With 3D printing, you can now manufacture only what you need, whether that’s one to 100 items.
Since you can now have shorter production runs, there’s now less wastage, which makes your operations more eco-friendly and saves your company money in the long run.
Shorter production runs also mean that you don’t need huge storage space. You only produce the parts whenever you need them. This transforms supply chain management as 3D printing’s on-demand manufacturing capabilities have abolished the concept of a centralised supply chain.
4. Introduces mass-customisation
Customisation is not easy with traditional manufacturing methods. However, 3D printing allows small and medium businesses to be more agile to anticipate and meet their market’s unique needs.
With 3D printing, you only need to modify the CAD file and then print it. Each iteration could be different. This is especially useful in the medical and dental sectors as no prostheses, implants, and dental appliances are alike. In fact, you can even print a batch of items all with different customisations!
Working remotely has become a necessity since the pandemic started. There are many benefits to working remotely for small to medium businesses, such as reducing operating expenses and needing a smaller workspace or doing away with it altogether.
3D printing allows for remote collaboration with its software. For instance, the new Ultimaker S7 is equipped with UltiMaker Digital Factory, its proprietary software that enables remote printing and management. A 1080p camera is also installed in the printer to give a crisp visual during remote monitoring.
The world’s most powerful 3D printer has just gotten even more powerful. The Ultimaker S7 is the successor of the award-winning S5. The S7 now has enhancements that improve printability, reliability, and remote collaboration. It’s also a future-proof investment as software and firmware are regularly improved for years to come.
For enquiries or consultations, contact us by phone, email, or chat.