3D printing technology has allowed for far reaching improvements in the manufacturing process. Thanks to 3D printers such as the Zortrax M200 the Lean and Agile methodologies have been elevated to a completely new level. And that’s not all, because 3D printers have brought about an actual revolution in manufacturing.
3D printing allows companies to gain advantage over their competition thanks to rapid prototyping and introducing products to the market. It has allowed manufacturing companies to fully implement the Agile Manufacturing methodology of constant improvements. Thanks to 3D printers it’s possible to introduce improvements in every subsequent 3d model without additional costs and waste of time. You don’t have to alter production lines. Even if you don’t go for manufacturing with the use of 3D printing, 3D printing will facilitate introducing changes in tests or manufacturing elements for your products and their personalization. Using 3D printing makes it possible to have a very short reaction time, which is the crucial aspect of Agile Manufacturing.
With lean manufacturing the situation is similar: the presence of printers in R&D departments supports processes in this methodology significantly. 3D printing improves efficiency through accelerating the implementation process. The technology also allows for easier adjustment of your products to the needs of your clients, also individual ones. Moreover, 3D printing improves the cohesion of production: it allows you to quickly create elements with high precision and repeatability, which results in higher quality. 3D printing technology also lets you cut down on the stock of spare parts.
Zortrax 3D printers are already being utilized in many sectors of the economy. Automotive companies use them for rapid prototyping, for accelerating production, and reducing costs. These 3D printers are used in producing solutions in medicine and for the electronics industry. There are many ways to use a 3D printer in various production methods.
3D printing technology has not only improved processes within lean manufacturing and allowed for actual Agile Manufacturing. 3D printers constitute an actual revolution in production processes. Companies which introduce these 3D printers early on will enjoy a dominating position over those which utilize traditional manufacturing methods. 3D printing is useful at every stage, from prototyping and improving the production line all the way to creating complete elements with a 3D printer.
The website of Zortrax—a leading company in the field of 3D printing—boasts one example of the use of 3D printers in manufacturing plants. The French factory of Bosch uses Zortrax M200 3D printers in its R&D department. The spare parts 3D printed there are much cheaper than original spares (€1 as compared to €400), which prevents clogging of the production line. Moreover, items which facilitate work are also printed (e.g. handles for wiring). Within one year 3D printers let the company save €80,000. There are many such examples of the benefits of 3D printing for the production process.
3D printing is altering the approach to manufacturing elements, which also changes the way large manufacturing plants work. Though inexpensive, 3D printers are versatile enough to make it possible to produce virtually any element. They can be used in any type of company with different methodologies and at different production stages. 3D printers have already changed and improved lean manufacturing and Agile Manufacturing. The extent to which they will improve your company is limited only by your imagination and your needs. They can let you save money and time, and modify the way your company works.