What Is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a method of creating physical objects by adding material layer by layer. This process is in contrast to traditional manufacturing methods such as subtractive manufacturing and molding.
Subtractive manufacturing involves carving away material from a block until the desired object is achieved. Molding involves creating a cast of the desired object, turning it into a mold, and then injecting material into the mold to create the final product. Additive manufacturing, on the other hand, involves building up an object layer by layer from nothing. This method has several advantages, including:
You have a brand new product that you are now trying to get made. You will need to understand that a manufacturer is an investor in your company.
Now when you're reaching out to manufacturers like an injection molder or a production 3D printing house, like us, there is a need to be understanding of what is occurring. Most Inventors or companies who are reaching out to manufacturers assume that we are a service to be had. Someone who takes your money and does the work and leaves and you can leave the money on the bed stand however that is not the case. When a manufacturer takes on a new client they are taking an explicit risk, because that client will take advisor ship guidance and they will take up a certain amount of your production capacity at a certain time. When you commit to a client, you are committing that they will be in a long-term relationship. We expect that client to be around years from now and not just fizzle out after six months. So like it or not when a manufacturer is evaluating new projects to take on the value awaited much the way an investor would evaluate an investment to take on. They will look at “Is this a viable product?” “Are they able to be worked with?” “Are they coachable?” “Are they reliable and able to create a company or reliably produce this product?” “Are they a good partner that we can stand to work with and are they able to actually execute on this vision that they have or are we going to have to do all the work?” This is something that many new inventors don't really understand. The manufacturer is somebody that you pay and they give you your parts. The manufacturer can and should be doing so much more. When we bring on new clients, we try to take a very personal interest in the product that's being created, offer as much information about how to design it, how to optimize it and how to save costs because when we bring out a client we are bringing on a partner. Someone who is helping us generate revenue. We want that to be a relationship that is long lasting, sound and profitable for both parties so that the relationship can go on for a long time. Manufacturers have the right to turn down work if the relationship isn't good or that the deal isn't good. The same way venture capitalists can turn down a new product if they feel that the deal isn't good or the relationship isn't good. Manufacturers and the actual product designers would do well to kind of consider that more as they go in a relationship. Don't make it cheap, build It up, find someone who you can partner with and be really close to. Your manufacturer will be your single point of failure so you want to make sure that they are as bought into your idea as you are, so that you have the best chance of being successful and they are going to make the same evaluation on their side to make sure that you have the best chance of being successful.
Hopefully that helps you as you go out looking for manufacturers of your products. Whether it be molders overseas, local 3D printing gets a close relationship so that they can actually be a part of your organization.
Have a great day everybody