Products can be created with production 3D printing that are more beautiful and original than any other. The process allows designers to create freely and not worry about the cost of manufacturing.
3D printing is often considered a second-rate manufacturing process. Something that is alright for rough prototypes but never for final products. But this idea often comes from experiences with low-grade desktop machines operated by amateurs. Professional 3D printing machines, and operators have thousands of hours of skill and validation built up to make sure that the results are consistent and high quality. Assumptions from what was observed in a garage of a friend are generally wrong when it comes to production 3D printing.
But even if they weren't, the flexibility of the process allows designers to create more freely than ever before. And the mild downsides in quality can be overcome quite readily. A prime example of this are the beautiful 3D printed table lamps created by Gantri.
Gantri is a San Francisco-based startup that is determined to bring 3D printed products into the home. And they are doing it by created phenomenally beautiful and unique lamps that are 3D printed except for the electrical components. By using 3D printing as the manufacturing method Gantri is able to to pursue the "long tail" products, which would be to expensive to produce with traditional methods for the volumes that can be sold. 3D printing lets them be ultra-niche.
But the design of the products is a beautiful example of how 3D printing does not create a "low quality" product. Especially if the product is designed specifically for additive manufacturing.
When a part is printed Gantri employees run the parts through a finishing process. And then perform final assembly. This makes sure that the parts are sleek and beautiful. Ensuring they have built product that people love.
3D printing is not some inferior manufacturing method that should be reserved for rough-outs. It is an affordable, and scalable means of manufacturing final products without the huge startup and long term costs of traditional manufacturing.
See More Beautiful 3D Printed Lamp at the Gantri Webstore.
Interested in having your product manufactured with 3D printing. Get a 3D printing quote today from Slant 3D.
Toys are a product that is is constantly changing. But the cost of the molding and traditional setups often make manufacturing toys prohibitively expensive for the lone garage inventor. Therefore most toy inventors attempt to license their ideas, but few ever succeed.
High Volume Production 3D printing offers an alternative to traditional toy manufacturing. It makes manufacturing and selling a toy as easy as making a website to sell it on. You just upload the files and then the printing factory can produce 10 or 10,000 as your sales grow. And, if you utilize the fulfillment capabilities of your 3D printing service then you never even have to pack and ship product. Slant 3D offers all of these resources. You basically just have to create a webstore, upload the 3D printing file, and watch the sales occur as all the manufacturing and fulfillment is handled by Slant 3D.
Advantages of manufacturing toys with 3D Printing
3D Printing offers several advantages to traditional manufacturing when it comes to toy design. With correct design, 3D printing could make a toy safer and cheaper to manufacture
Combine parts to be printed as a single piece.
There are very few limits on geometry when 3D printing a plastic part. This makes it possible to create very complex shapes as one single part. Which ultimately means that a toy is cheaper to assemble in production, and safer for the end user since fewer pieces, such as screws, are available to choke on.
A great example of using 3D printing to create parts that are simpler to manufacture and safer for children, are the LittleBots. Littlebots are a series of STEM robotics kits. But one of the things that makes them special is that they have very few fasteners. The LittleBots team was able to design each 3D printed piece to snap and join with others without requiring complex assembly. This has made the kits faster and easier to assemble in the classroom, but safer should younger children work with them.
Scale production with demand
Few new products ever sell a million in their first year, or even in their lifetime. But molding requires that you order thousands of units at a time. This is a very expensive option for a designer that is just launching a new product and is not sure of the demand.
Fortunately 3D printing has no minimum, and is able to scale with demand. An inventor can have a printing service produce just 10 units of an item then, when those are sold, he can grow to 100, then 1000, then 10,000. All without ever having to put down more cash than the individual cost of each item. No tooling, no inventory. Just on-demand manufacturing at any scale. But when your product is on track to sell millions then you can transfer to injection molding without worrying about the risk of the tooling.
The last advantage of 3D Printing production is there is no cost in changing the design as you grow. If you utilize injection molding then it is tens of thousands of dollars every time you tweak the product. With 3D printing that is not an issue. You can change the design as much as you want with very small fees to update it in production.
Create what was not possible before
The ability of 3D printing to free the toy designer is not often seen. Certainly it can combine assemblies, but those could still have been made with some other process, using more assembly. But 3D printing can create toys that were simply not possible before. Some pieces are just too complex to be made with other processes, period.
Great examples of this are the Gualala Gadget toys. These small complex marble towers could not be produced by any other method than 3D printing. Even if the could be broken into small enough pieces to be molded, the resulting product would be expensive and unattractive. 3D printing allows these beautiful toys to be created with basically zero startup cost.
Since production 3D printing can make any part, at any time, at any scale there is no reason to build up an inventory of a product. But this can can be taken even further. Instead of purchasing 100 units and holding them in your own warehouse, why not simply have them stored and fulfilled at the source.
Slant 3D offers assembly and fulfillment services to clients that do not want to deal with the supply chain. We will print your product, assemble and package it, and implement you into our fulfillment system, This means all you have to do is create the design and create a sellers portal on Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, or your own website. It leaves you free to design more amazing toys.
This is a great resource of a product just starting out and for designers that might not be familiar with the logistics of fulfillment.
High volume production 3D printing makes it possible to just design the 3D model of a file and immediately start production. Compared to traditional manufacturing the cost of setup is practically zero. And a designer can scale supply as needed, without having to order 1000's upfront.
This makes 3D printing essentially a manufacturing backend. Just as a server farm only delivers an app when it it downloaded, production 3D printing can deliver a toy only when it is purchased.
Toy inventors and companies now have the capability to test and expand on new ideas in a very low cost scalable way.
Interested in having your toy manufactured with 3D printing so that you can spend your time creating more toys and building a business rather than dealing with manufacturing? Get it quoted today!
Slant 3D is one of the highest capacity 3D printing farms in the entire world. We produce 5-10,000 parts per week and that number is only growing.
Our fully automated production 3D printing factory has truly changed the scale of 3D printing. It no longer costs $50 apiece to print 10 pieces. It cost $0.50 apiece to print 1000 pieces.
But it wasn't always like this. Recently our founder, Gabe Bentz, was honored with a chance to speak at a Tedx event about the the journey that led to the creation of Slant 3D.
Slant 3D was born from the necessity to have a fast and flexible means of manufacturing a niche product at scale. When we started, we did not expect 3D printing to be a viable solution, as many do, but we ended up proving ourselves wrong.
But we will let Gabe give you the low down. Enjoy.
High Volume 3D Printing allows for the affordable creation of pilot production runs of product.
Market testing and doing pilot productions of a new product is one of the most expensive parts of developing that product. Small run tooling is very expensive and must be recreated for every design change. But not doing it can result in investment in a product that will not perform well in the market.
Production 3D printing offers a solution to this problem. High capacity 3D printer farms, like Slant 3D, can produce small to mid-volume production runs of a product without any of the tooling cost. A client may order 100 high-quality parts that can market tested, then order 1000 with a slight design change and still pay only on a per-part basis, with no significant setup fees.
This capability allows startups and design firms to do large scale market testing affordably and quickly. And the affordability makes it possible to do more tests then normal. A physical product can now use AB testing the same way a website does.
Slant 3D's high production 3D printing farm has the capacity to produce more than 5-10,000 parts per week. And it supports materials ranging from low cost ABS and PLA to Carbon Fiber Nylon. These capabilities make pilot product for nearly any physical product simple and reliable.
Originally published on TeachThought
3D printing sounds like something from science fiction, but the process is similar to that of CNC machining, where billets are cut into specific shapes and products. But rather than cutting, it prints.
A 3D printer works by “printing” objects–but instead of using ink, it uses more substantive materials–plastics, metal, rubber, and the like. It scans an object–or takes an existing scan of an object–and slices it into layers it can then convert into a physical object.
The result is a product that while not as intricate, durable, or functional as the real-world equivalent, is otherwise a real thing that didn’t exist 30 seconds before you printed it.
In fact, what it is you’re actually producing depends on what is being printed: if it’s toy jewelry, rubber balls, and plastic chess pieces your after, you’re printing not an analogue of the real thing, but the real thing itself. Confused yet?
As far as how this can be used in education, it’s a matter of bringing objects out of the computer screen and into the hands of students for inspection, analysis, and other processes that can benefit from physical manipulation. In that way, 3D printers may eventually be able to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital–use a screen to find what you need, then print it into existence.
Production 3D printing allows for the creation, iteration, and mass production of hardware products. The trouble is that few people are familiar with how to design practical products for the process. So we have launched the SlantStore.
The SlantStore is an online marketplace for new 3D printed products. We will be creating and curating 3D printed designs which can be used by the everyday person. From these products, designers should be able to learn the methodologies and sensibilities that really use the capabilities of 3D printing.
With the SlantStore we plan to demonstrate that 3D printed items be great products for the everyday person. Not just the 3D printing enthusiast. After all, for the end user, the manufacturing process is irrelevant as long as it is a good product.
We will be launching new products on the SlantStore weekly, in conjunction with our "Printed Summer" initiative. Check them out and let us know of products that you would like to see.
Republished from Stratasys
3D printed jigs and fixtures open up new possibilities on manufacturing-floor productivity. 3D printed jigs and fixtures are built from a digital CAD file rather than hard tooling, allowing you to produce aids on-demand, as needed.
3D printing manufacturing aids, rather than machining or molding, allows you to design for optimal performance, and additive manufacturing places fewer constraints on tool configuration. The addition of complexity does not typically increase build time or cost compared to traditional manufacturing methods.
Reduction of Costs
With advantages such as quick turnarounds, part consolidation and near labor-less production, 3D printing jigs and fixtures delivers an overall cheaper venture. TS Tech achieved 31% direct cost savings moving to a 3D printed fixture. The additive process also reduces material waste and helps you avoid costly expenses associated with inventory and storage.
The ease of customization and ergonomic enhancements with 3D printed jigs and fixtures delivers an overall improved performance on the production floor. CAD files can be easily modified before each build, allowing for the painless customization of tools and aids.
These customizations can include contours that improve tool handling and ease of use to help increase worker comfort. Improve efficacy and safety for employees with weight reduction from 3D printed jigs and fixtures. Weight savings up to 90% have been achieved by utilizing high-strength thermoplastics instead of metals.
A complicated jig or fixture that may have been designed for manufacturability and requires extensive machining or other conventional production methods can find new value with 3D printing technology. The design freedom of additive manufacturing removes traditional manufacturing constraints and opens new opportunities for tool configuration.
We've put together a video of some of the 3D Printing production projects that we have worked on over the last few months on the Slant 3D printer farm.. Our clients have come to us with everything from robots to chess pieces. We are literally producing parts at the same rate as any other process, without the cost of tooling and setup of traditional manufacturing.
Imagine what you could create if you could create and distribute a physical product as easily as a digital one.
3D Printing is an incredible resource for small companies and entrepreneurs. It allows you to start with an idea, create a prototype, and increase products from 1 unit, to 10, to 100, to 1000, to 20000, all without ever putting out the capital traditionally needed to produce a hardware product for setup and tooling like injection molds.
3D Printing also lets companies change a product immediately, simply by changing a 3D design file. Immediately every part created afterwards has that update. Again without having to go through the challenge of changing tooling.
Production 3D Printing literally makes it possible to create, launch, and scale hardware products as easily as software products. And we want to demonstrate this.
Over the next few months Slant 3D and Slant Concepts will be launching a new product nearly every week. Some will be launched on Kickstarter and others on the SlantStore (more on that later). Each product will be unique and will attempt to demonstrate how 3D printing manufacturing makes the product better than any other manufacturing process would.
The first product, which is launching this Friday on Kickstarter, are the Buggles. The Buggles are a disposable biodegradable Flytrap. They are meant to be a discreet and simple way of fixing the fly fly issues all of us are experiencing this summer at Picnics and in our homes.
3D Printing is not a very good personal technology. But it is an incredibly useful manufacturing technology. Because it lets a kid with a laptop create and scale a company, around a physical product, as easily as that kid could around a software product. 3D Printing is not slow or expensive, when it is used in production. Please join us this summer as we prove this again and again.
3D Printing is becoming a common method for producing parts and toys by small independent creators all over the world. These people often maintain several printers in their home or shop in order to make the products that they have created.
But if you are just starting out or trying to grow, the time and expense of your own personal 3D printers can make them prohibitive. Personal printers often cost $500-$3000 which, for a small cottage business is a high startup cost.
But with production 3D printing you can just upload you models and have your manufacturer hold them in digital inventory. That is, there is a onetime preparation fee, and then the part is ready to be printed forever. When an order comes in it is pushed to the manufacturer who will access the digital file and print the design.
And since companies like Slant 3D support dropshipping you can enter into a monthly plan where you pay a flat fee for each shipment and have Slant 3D print and ship the part only when it is ordered. This means you can create a business for basically zero upfront cost, and only pay the cost of manufacturing on a per-part basis. It is a lot like posting an app to the Appstore. You just create a digital design and it is copied when the design is ordered.
An Alternative method to operating on a small scale is to order inventory in small quantities for you to hold and then ship, like a traditional retailer. Again the design would be held in "digital inventory" by Slant 3D, and when you need 10-100 pieces for your stock you just send a message and the pieces will be printed and shipped to you within a few days.
And whenever you want to grow you business or add new products, you basically just send an e-mail. No more affording, maintaining, and operating your own printers. Just design great products without having to pay for them until they sell.