Top 9 of the best arguments to convince your boss to start using 3D printing
3D printing is more and more common in a lot of different industries, and additive manufacturing will be even more used in the upcoming years. You may know that 3D printing could be a good thing for your company, and we can definitely say that you’re right! You are maybe wondering how to convince your boss to start using 3D printing. Our annual report of 2017, The State 3D Printing, confirms that this technology can boost your company and provide many benefits: 47% of our respondents saw greater return on investment than last year thanks to additive manufacturing. 3D printing can be useful in a company as it is deeply changing the manufacturing processes. Still, it is possible that when you talk to your boss about using it, he’s very unwilling and thinks about 3D printing as a gadget.
In this blogpost, we are going to explain how 3D printing can be an advantage for your company, and how to convince easily your boss to start using it with these 9 arguments!
3D printing is a real competitive advantage
As we can see in The State of 3D Printing 2017, 90% of our respondents consider that 3D printing is a competitive advantage in their strategy. It is a real partner of their activity. This technology is a great way to accelerate product development, save time and money.
47 % of respondents saw a greater return on investment than last year, and it is increasing year over year. 3D printing is now a major part of their business operations. Moreover, it is a clever way to differentiate your company from the others.
3D printing can bring opportunities to your company, no matter your industry
A lot of different industries are using 3D printing: Aeronautics, aerospace, automotive, architecture, construction or, medical. You must keep in mind that every sector can use this technology, either for engineering, R&D process, production, design, etc. You can refer to our website to see all the different applications of 3D printing, in diverse industries.
Indeed, in a company, 3D printing can be used for almost anything: you can create prototypes and/or you can use it directly for production. Even if 3D printing has been essentially used for prototyping in the beginning, it tends to be more and more used for production.
The technology improves continuously and the future of 3D printing is promising. It would be a shame not to be a part of this success!
Prototyping with 3D printing : a simple way to give life to any idea
As we can see in our 2017 report The State of 3D Printing, 34% of the companies of our respondents are using 3D printing for prototyping. Using additive manufacturing is a great way to reduce costs and save time. It can help you with prototyping as it is faster and cheaper than many traditional processes. You only need to create a 3D model of your idea to print it.
UVify used 3D printing for prototyping their drones. Thanks to our 3D printing service, they saved time and iterated more than 80 times to improve their models. It is easy to do some rapid prototyping with 3D printing. It’s a faster and easier way to give life to your ideas.
It is actually a better option than injection moulding for prototyping. Indeed, if you’re not happy with your part, and you want to change something, you don’t have to create a brand new mould. You just have to modify your 3D file.
3D printing can be a great tool for production
A growing 22% of our respondents are using this technology directly for production.For examples, the founders of Arro studio, two designers, used our 3D printing service for prototyping and developed difficult designs. They finally used it to create a final product. Your boss should know that it’s now possible to use the 3D printing technology for production. You only need a 3D file and a 3D printer to create a physical object. In the upcoming years 3D printing will be more and more used for finished products.
3D printing technologies are offering new possibilities for production. There is now the HP Multi Jet Fusion printer, which allows to print highly detailed designs. DLS (CLIP) is ideal to create production parts.
3D printing is an efficient way to accelerate product development
One of the most relevant priorities of companies using this technology is to accelerate product development. If it’s easy to create prototypes, it can significantly accelerate the whole product development process. Thus, additive manufacturing is a key to boost your R&D process as it helps you save time and money.
The founder of Ikilock, a company specialized in smart locks for doors and building doors, used additive manufacturing for prototyping. Jacques Leneveu explains that they gained approximately one year in their product development process by using online 3D printing services ! It’s a real time-saving trick.
Working on new designs is easy with 3D printing
You can embrace more possibilities and feel free to create the design that you are thinking of, and not only the design that you can afford by default. You can create everything you need, even if it involves complex geometries.
The accuracy of additive manufacturing in complex geometries is really impressive. It’s also possible to create other special designs, like for example designs that absorb impacts. For example, thanks to special joints, jigsaw-like structures allow your model to gain strength and resistance.
To sum up: It can create very simple parts, but also more particular parts or intricate geometries at a reasonable price.
Additive manufacturing allows an improvement of the supply chain
The use of 3D printing for production can lead to a dematerialization of the supply chain. It could be the occasion to rethink the whole manufacturing process of your company and reduce tooling investment.
The industry is changing. Now that we are using connected machines and that we can produce parts locally, it allows remote production. It is not necessary anymore to invest into big manufacturing infrastructures. This new manufacturing process could be an advantage for your business, allowing a reduction of waste, but also the creation of what is called virtual warehouses.
SpineVision, sees 3D printing as a real improvement of the supply-chain. They use it to create medical implants and associated tools. The principal advantage is that they can produce on demand. First, it accelerates their prototyping process. And then, they are not bothered anymore with important stocks as they can produce low volumes thanks to the 3D printing technology.
3D printing allows mass-customization
One of the benefits of additive manufacturing is the development of consumer products using mass customization. It can be used in different industries. For example: Skoda, the automobile manufacturer, made a marketing campaign using 3D printing, to launch their new car. They made a partnership with Sculpteo and offered 3D printed cars, that customers could personalize with their name.
Another example now, but in the medical field: Dr Marc Soubeyrand is an orthopedic surgeon and researcher. He uses 3D printing and explains that additive manufacturing is a way to get customized products on demand. 3D printing offers you a lot of possibilities. You can print functional parts on low volumes, and customize it to adapt it to your needs.
Bonus tip! The advantages of using a 3D printing service
If you use 3D printing for prototyping, this technology can help you eliminate time-consuming tooling and reduce costs. You are wondering how you’ll deal with the machine? Hopefully you don’t need to get a 3D printer to print your parts! You can use an online 3D printing service such as Sculpteo to print your 3D objects. In this way, you don’t need to worry about operating a 3D printer yourself.
Regarding the materials, plastic remains the most used material, but there are many options: different plastics, resins, metals. There is certainly a material corresponding to your needs. At Sculpteo, we created a bicycle using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies. Our designers used a lot of different techniques and materials. Each part of the bike is made with a specific material. This is a great example of what we can create for you and your business.
Another benefit of 3D printing and 3D printing services, is that you are completely free to order an important volume or just small batches: it gives you a great flexibility.
Moreover, now that 3D printing is more common, it is also becoming more affordable! There is a global cost decline of the 3D printing technology. Additive manufacturing can help you to reduce your costs especially when it comes to materials like metals, which can be very expensive with traditional manufacturing methods.
Give it a try! With Sculpteo, the process is very easy: once your 3D file is uploaded, you directly get a quote.
We hope that you now have all the arguments you need to convince your boss to start using 3D printing in your company. If you want to go further and understand better the 3D printing world and see how you could build your 3D printing strategy, download our last annual report: The State of 3D Printing 2017. Moreover, if your boss is still scared about using this technology, feel free to contact our sales department who will provide you a complete study and help you with your project.