There’s a good chance that if you’re in the business world, you’ll have heard of 3D printing. The ability to sculpt and print out almost any kind of 3D object with plastic has greatly changed the way we approach production in a number of different industries. The technology has steadily improved over the years and we’ve gone from weak plastic models to sturdy pieces that can be combined to make almost anything.
However, for a small business, the practical applications of 3D printing are still a little uncertain. So in this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most interesting ways that you can adopt 3D printing into your production line or workflow.
Creating your own merchandise to sell or take to an event
3D printing can be an excellent way to create custom merchandise that you can either sell on your website or take to an event as a promotional item. There are lots of different things you could print such as small keychains or even housings for USB drives. The limit is your imagination when using 3D printing and there are countless ideas for you to play with. However, keep in mind that 3D printing does take a long time if you do it with a small printer. You may want to consider a service like https://www.rapidpsi.com/high-volume-production/ if you want to create lots of merchandise to sell or take to an event. It’s faster and often works out cheaper than using a smaller 3D printer.
Develop fast and inexpensive prototypes
If you need to create prototypes for a project then 3D printing can often give you fantastic results. It’s great for prototyping things that you can physically touch such as a video game controller, the shape of a piece of hardware like a mouse or even a small design that you plan to enlarge and make using different materials. 3D printing can help you rapidly prototype new designs but it does require some experience and knowledge with 3D modelling. However, if you have someone capable in your workforce, then they’ll easily be able to create real prototypes for any kind of physical item that you plan to make. It’s a lot cheaper than using materials like wood and you can quickly iterate with new changes.
Print custom parts and accessories to complement existing machines
One of the most unique ways to adopt 3D printing into your workflow is print custom or spare parts and accessories for existing machines. For instance, if a gear is showing a bit of wear in a machine that is a part of your production line, 3D printing enables you to print a suitable replacement that is surprisingly sturdy and long-lasting. This requires you to build your own replacement part, but there are websites such as https://www.thingiverse.com/ that are dedicated to sharing digital designs for a variety of 3D printers. There’s a good chance that you might find spare parts and accessories for things that your business already owns.