Sculpteo's guide for short series manufacturing

3D Printing / Traditional manufacturing: Guide to cost efficiency

In this guide, you will find a comparative study between 3D Printing and Plastic Injection Molding. In order to download it for free, all you need to do is fill the above fields.

In comparison with traditional production techniques, especially plastic molding, the advantages of 3D Printing go far beyond Rapid Prototyping or object customization.

Sculpteo’s online 3D Printing services allow professionals and consumers to produce short series in an economically competitive manner.

We conducted a study on cost efficiency through short series manufacturing with the hope to prove 3D printing’s competitive edge. The study’s goal: determine when it’s more cost effective to use 3D Printing (through SLS processes) as opposed to Plastic injection for your production.

Our study first takes into consideration qualitative aspects such as elasticity, resistance and finishes before switching to more quantitative research.

To do so, the study takes into consideration the following factors that affect production unit price:

  • The number of units produced
  • The volume of the 3D printed object
  • The complexity of the object’s design

The study confirms that the economic advantage of 3D Printing is viable up to several hundred of produced units. Beyond that, volume is an important factor in pricing (depending on the bulk in 3D printers) it’s more economically interesting to 3D print small pieces. Finally, the analysis reveals the particular advantage of 3D printing with regards to the complexity of a design. Objects with complex design features (with hollowing, holes, atypical shapes) do not require any additional cost during a print as would during an injection mold.

Currently, 3D printing does not offer a replacement for injection molding, however it does provide an additional, financially responsible option for manufacturing. The study is meant to offer business of any size the knowledge to successfully design and produce their objects.

To get a better understanding, you can easily download the guide on our website.

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Upload a 3D file to get an immediate pricing of your 3D print in a short series (Batch Control is activated starting from 20 units).