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Though 3D printing in rapid prototype manufacturing has existed since the 1980s, it has frequently been misrepresented - both negatively and positively. Regrettably, 3D printed parts are usually regarded as figurines, hobbyist components, and decorative prototypes. Yet thanks to innovations in materials and technology, there is so much more firms can reach using a 3D printer.
When individuals are misinformed about new technologies, they frequently shy away from it or use it wrongly. It is important to get all the proper information before employing a 3D printer to guarantee you receive the best use from it. Below are a few of the most common misconceptions regarding 3D printing.
1. 3D printing is expensive
Among what we daily learn from our clients, it is misconception regarding the actual cost of 3D printing. Additive manufacturing is increasingly more developed and utilized in various sectors. It's now becoming an economical technology. But plenty of businesses still feel this rapid prototype manufacturing solution is more costly than traditional techniques like plastic injection molding.
Yes, a 3D printing project can be costly. But the price largely depends on the quantity and volume of parts, the amount and type of material utilized, and required precision.
Employing 3D printing can help save money. Utilizing this process is a means to save time and accelerate your product development: you can make prototypes rapidly and create as many iterations as you want. You simply have to alter your design by means of a 3D modeling program and print it as many times as you would like.
2. Plastic 3D printing materials are too weak to use in manufacturing
Before 3D printers constructed for fabricating were introduced, many 3D printers utilized printing plastics are unsuitable for the production environment. These printers make not only poor parts, but also the pieces that are not durable and precision enough or not chemically resistant.
Evidently, CNC machining can reach high accuracy, with tolerances of both ±0.025 -- 0.125 mm. But in the previous decades, 3D printer makers have innovated machines to achieve higher precision. Some advanced 3D printers have tolerances of approximately +/- 0.008. Today’s 3D printers also have the exceptional capacity to print support systems, which make it possible to print completely constructed and fully functional parts with complex geometries, which would not be possible using a subtractive production procedure.
In addition, present 3D printers and their materials are more diverse and dependable to be utilized in various sectors, including medial, architecture, aerospace, automotive, consumer products, etc.
3. 3D printing is not suited to professional applications
For many folks, 3D printing remains used by amateurs to create gadgets, for example, figurines or phone cases. Yes, there are still some 3D printers used to print these items. But industrial 3D printing goes considerably farther. There are plenty of businesses currently taking advantage of those super-powerful industrial 3D printers for rapid prototype manufacturing or small production.
The application of 3D printing is really growing in a lot of industries. Medical uses of this technology are continuously evolving, from medical equipment to prosthesis and implant. Medical 3D printing is saving lives and reducing expensive medical costs.
For architects, additive production brings significant benefits to acquire mock-ups to get greater visualizations of their projects. The automotive industry also benefits a lot. To begin with, 3D printing allows the automaker to test new design ideas and create new vehicles. It's also helping create spare parts more economically and quickly.
The optics and footwear sector now is also beginning to use rapid prototyping 3d printing in their new product development and production.
Many more sectors are using 3d printing for rapid prototype manufacturing. This technology is able to effectively help businesses to avoid many mistakes in new product development and production.
4. 3D printing doesn’t offer enough options
There are actually a lot of alternatives available whilst utilizing 3D printing for rapid prototype manufacturing. There's a good selection of materials, from elastic plastics into heat resistant metallic materials. An increasing number of 3D printing materials and technologies are now readily available for various businesses to develop their projects.
You will certainly find the characteristics you require among plastic, resin, or metal. Finishings are also available for most of the 3D printing materials. You can choose among various colors and finishing options depending on the material you decided to use for your rapid prototyping 3d printing project.
5. The operation of 3D printers is difficult
3D printers were hard to operate before. Many present 3D printers for fabricating functions are usually built in unintuitive software which needs expert knowledge, while previous generations of hobby-level 3D printers have been assembled with no such applications. Because of this, previous machines need substantial operator experience in part design, part orientation, and machine configurations to produce a workable part. 3D printer firms today create integrated purpose-built hardware, applications, and materials, which ends in predictable machine functionality, with less demand for operator experience. This implies engineers and machinists can concentrate more on designing standard components and less time focusing on figuring out how to utilize the printer and software.
6. 3D printing will replace mass production
When there are a few people who state that 3D printing is substituting high-volume production, the cost and time of 3D printing components in high quantity is often much higher than that of the classic production. Producing at scale was optimized for a long time. Therefore, 3D printing is presently not cheap or fast enough to replace procedures such as injection molding or casting. Some 3D printing producers are pushing the capabilities of 3D printing in manufacturing high-volume components, but these will likely supplement existing mass-production procedures rather than replacing them.
3D printers can make parts cheaper and quicker for low-volume pieces. Firms can concentrate on revenue-making end-use components, rather than placing an excessive amount of time, effort, and cash on high-volume 3D printing of parts which might not generate any revenue for the company. Using rapid prototyping 3d printing, it is possible to quickly iterate layouts without wasting resources awaiting final products that might not meet standards. This makes 3D printers ideal for low-volume, custom-made prototypes, tooling, and fixtures, which are frequently intricate and difficult to machine. However, they are crucial for an efficient manufacturing procedure.