Why 3D Printing?
Recent technological advances made it possible for high school kids to make prosthetic hands for disabled kids, at less than 35 GBP. This is the power of 3D printing, but it is not only in the medical field that the technology is poised to open up great opportunities to make life better. Since it was introduced to a wider audience at the CES 2014, the expectation has been that it can transform the manufacturing industry and other industries in the future. Many industries have already been quick to adopt this technology for quick, do it yourself manufacturing solutions and other benefits that can help to lower costs, increase productivity and generally change the way ideas are tested.
Why 3D Printing?
1. Enables quick testing of ideas
2. Iterative designs
3. Real materials and real parts
3D printing is not just for concepts. It lets you work with real materials. Low cost engineering ABS plastics (an easy to fabricate thermoplastic used for making appliance housings, tool boxes, battery cases, packing crates, camera bodies, luggage, machined prototypes, housing, support blocks, covers etc.) is commonly used with 3D printers. PLA plastics (a biodegradable polymer derived from sugars) may be easier to print than ABS offering greater accuracy and comes in a variety of colors, levels of translucence and high gloss. With these materials it is possible to test different fits like dove-tails, snap-fits, clearance fits, and living hinges and so on.
Leapfrog 3D printing PLA plastics. Order here
4. Hands-on learning
The great flexibility of 3D printing allows educators to get students to think actively about what they are learning in the classroom. Fully functional models of the human body, different joints and so on instead of just lectures can help educators teach students more effectively. Many schools and universities are allowing students to see their ideas come to life with 3D printers, helping them understand why a party did or did not work, and often influencing students to pursue majors involving engineering technology.
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Direct and indirect cost saving is one of the biggest benefits of 3D printing. Prototyping costs can be lowered significantly from $300 - $1000 to $2 - $10 for each part. While the initial cost of a 3D printer can be high depending on the model (though there are many affordable 3D printers available today as compared to when they first came out), cheap materials and saved time can quickly help to recoup costs. As we know, in any business time saved is money earned.
Whether 3D printing in-house or choosing a 3D printing service, the cost savings are big enough for the technology to have become more and more viable since it was first introduced. With so many advantages, it is no surprise that 3D printing is slated to not just help better create the objects we know and use, but even design new objects and structures altogether!
Interested to start 3D printing yourself?
Check out our professional Leapfrog Xeed 3D printer, € 6,999.00 excl. VAT