There are many considerations in choosing high volume vs. low volume manufacturing. Additive manufacturing offers a viable option for any volume. It also enables manufacturers to implement a more agile business model with less risk. Here’s how additive manufacturing is reducing the gap between high volume vs. low volume manufacturing.
3D printing is often perceived as slower and more expensive than traditional production methods. Many companies incorrectly assume it to be inaccessible because it’s different and more complex. However, improvements in 3D printing technologies and increased material performance have made additive manufacturing a viable alternative. Increased agility, reduced costs and risks, and onshoring will accelerate product design through production more effectively than traditional manufacturing methods.
The short lifespan of footwear, especially running shoes, leads to large amounts of waste. Most shoes are non-biodegradable and end up in landfills where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. 3D printing can increase sustainability in footwear manufacturing and the final consumer product.
For companies looking for a more cost-effective and agile alternative to injection molding, 3D printing presents a unique opportunity. To create product variants, additive manufacturing can easily refine designs digitally instead of making new molds. Eliminating tooling reduces capital expenses and product turnaround time, and increases design freedom. Read on for a more in-depth breakdown of these advantages.
3D printing is allowing companies to improve manufacturing capabilities, whether in-house or leveraging contract 3D printing services in a smart factory. Companies in many industries can see multiple benefits when they use 3D printing smart factories for high volume or low volume/high mix manufacturing. Here’s how companies can accelerate the go-to-market of new products from prototyping to high volume manufacturing.
3D printing is a viable manufacturing method for volume and customized production in a number of industries, including footwear, aerospace engineering, and dentistry. Used for the last 35 years, 3D printing eliminates several steps from the traditional production method, significantly accelerating development without compromising product quality. 3D printing night guards and retainers offers several benefits for patients and dentists, making it increasingly the preferred method for developing dental devices.
With flexibility and a high level of automation, 3D printing helps manufacturers accelerate new product introduction (NPI) and full-scale production. Commercialization of 3D printing systems in smart factories has also brought costs down, allowing more companies to take advantage of additive manufacturing services. When deciding how to scale up manufacturing of new or existing products, partnering with a smart factory leveraging 3D printing allows greater flexibility in manufacturing capacity, while accelerating production ramp-up and supporting a high mix-low volume suite of products.
Introduced three decades ago, 3D printing is transforming dentistry. The market for 3D-printed dental products is expected to reach $930 million by the end of 2025, driven by greater commercialization of printing systems, the need to customize dental products, and the availability of contract 3D printing services.
3D printing, either in-house or outsourced to a contract manufacturer, helps footwear companies control costs, manage their risk, and create a broader range of higher quality products. If you’re looking to partner with a contract manufacturer or expand your existing footwear manufacturing operations, choose a partner or process based on 3D printing to help control costs and reduce risk.
3D printing systems eliminate the need for tooling which decreases upfront costs, reduces the inventory on hand requirement, speeds up design to production cycles, and enables a more diverse set of products manufactured at any one site. The flexibility and agility allow companies to easily implement low volume manufacturing strategies that can make them more competitive.