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Top 3D printing benefits for small businesses


Using 3D printing can be a great asset for your business. From rapid prototyping to production, tooling and marketing purposes, additive manufacturing can really boost your company. Today, we are going to focus on the benefits of 3D printing for small businesses. Wondering how to use this cutting-edge technology when you are running a small business? How can it help you grow your company and reach new challenges? Let’s discover it right now. 

1. Proof of concept and rapid prototyping

Using 3D printing to make your proof of concept and start your project can be a really wise choice. 

This technology can help you boost your Kickstarter campaign, to create good looking and functional parts, to present your project to your investors and future customers. You can use inexpensive technologies and materials such as raw Multi Jet Fusion PA12. Creating a proof of concept using additive manufacturing will help you showcase the functionality of your product, its whole concept without wasting your money. 

Additive manufacturing is the key to develop your product, it will considerably improve your R&D process. The prototyping process is made easier, and can significantly accelerate your whole product development. As a small company, you will be able to develop your project without wasting time and money. 

2. 3D printing as a competitive advantage

Additive manufacturing is a real competitive advantage to grow your business. As we reported in our study, The State of 3D Printing 2019, 50% of the respondents see the use of 3D printing inside their business as a competitive advantage. Indeed, for most of them, 3D printing has become one of their strengths: using this technology is a way to be ahead of their competitors. 

Using additive manufacturing from the beginning of your business will help you to be even more efficient, but it will also help build your brand, on a marketing side. 

3. A new tool for production

If 3D printing is particularly good for prototyping, more and more businesses are using this 3D tool to improve their production process. Indeed, we saw in our last study about the 3D printing industry that 51% of our respondents are using additive manufacturing for their production, while 38% were using it for production purposes the year before. 

4. Short runs, lower costs

With 3D technology, it will be easier and cheaper to produce short runs than with traditional manufacturing processes, like injection molding. No need to create a mold to produce a few parts. You can print 1, 100 or 10K parts with only a few clicks on an online 3D printing service such as Sculpteo. 

5. Storage made easier

For a small business, storage can quickly become an issue. You have to find a place to store your products, this is extra-costs for the company. With additive manufacturing, you can produce your parts when you need them, thanks to a digital inventory and on-demand manufacturing. 3D printing is becoming a way to rethink the whole traditional concept of supply-chain management. 

6. New mass-customization opportunities

Mass-customization is one of the biggest advantages of additive manufacturing. With traditional methods, customization can be expensive and take time. Indeed, this would be achieved by adjusting the original molds/machinery or by manually adjusting your product. 

However, with 3D printing, you don’t need a mold, if you want to modify your product, you will only need your 3D modeling software to modify your STL file, and then print different versions of the part you need. 

Mass-customization offers opportunities in different sectors, like the medical field. Tools can be 3D printed and adapted to the surgeon’s needs, and also for the patients, prosthesis, implants, can be made according to the patient’s needs, issues, and morphology.

7. Improve the quality of your products

Thanks to additive manufacturing, 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.

Why should you partner with a 3D printing service?

If you use 3D printing for prototyping, this technology can help you eliminate time-consuming tooling and reduce costs. But you are maybe wondering how to deal with a professional 3D printer?  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. 

Moreover, if 3D printing with a service is accessible and can help you save money; buying an industrial 3D printer is a big investment, even more for a small company. Using an online 3D printing service will offer you the possibility to choose among a wide range of 3D printing materials and technologies. From plastic to resin and metal, you can give life to all your projects. 

Another benefit of 3D printing and 3D printing services is that you are completely free to order a large volume or just small batches: it gives you great flexibility to match the demand for your product.

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