When 3D printers first emerged as a new technology, they were often regarded as being too expensive and only suitable for companies with high-end projects and large budgets. However, over the last decade or so, it has become more accessible and the cost has decreased dramatically. As a result, small businesses can benefit greatly from the use of 3D printing. If you are a small business owner and have yet to realise the potential benefits of 3D printing for your company, in the following post we are hopefully going to change your point of view by looking at some of the main advantages of using it.
Prototyping is used by companies to improve features in existing products and test out new ones with samples. While in the past this might have cost a lot more, thanks to 3D printing tech, it has become more affordable for smaller businesses. With 3D printers you can make a large volume of prototypes without requiring additional team members.
Better Product Customisation
Another way your small business can benefit from the use of 3D printing technology is by using it to customise your products. Rather than having to use various consultants and outside teams, you can recreate products with 3D printer and easily make improvements and customisations to them with little to no fuss. From dresses to hearing aids and just about anything else.
Breakthroughs in Retail Price
As 3D printing was just emerging around 5 or 6 years ago, it was only available from a limited number of sources and was quite pricey to say the least. As it’s become more affordable and more widely available, there have been considerable breakthroughs with its retail price over the last few years. This means that even small businesses can afford 3D printed models for reasonable prices.
It’s only affordable for a business to mass produce items if they are selling enough to justify spending all that money. Due to their size and profit margin, therefore, a small business is not able to justify those costs. With the use of 3D printing, however, it has a potentially cost-effective alternative that means they can produce lower volumes of required products without experiencing the same expenses. What’s even better is the fact that 3D printers can produce even the most complex and complicated parts that often would cost a lot to produce on a large scale.
Takes the Place of Industrial Manufacturing
Although we’ve looked at how 3D printers can be used in prototyping, they are now being used more comprehensively. Many companies are now replacing industrial manufacturing for items and products with 3D printing. There is a growing variety of products 3D printers can be used to make. Rather than just being prototypes, these are fully-functioning and ready to be used by the business or shipped off to customers. When you consider how expensive manufacturing is, switching to 3D printing may be the smart move for many smaller, fledgling businesses.