High volume 3D Printing is production of more than 1,000 3D Printed parts as an alternative to injection molding.
The Benefits of High Volume 3D Printing
No Up Front Costs, Flexible Design, and Flexible Supply.
The Largest Benefit of production 3D Printing is that elimination of molding costs. 3D Printing does not require a mold. So all of that up front cost disappears
At low volumes 3D Printing can be expensive per part, but when you move past 1000, that added cost is negligible.
3D Printing is also a perfectly on-demand process. So you do not have to order 10,000's of parts and then warehouse them for months with the risk of none of them selling. You order what you need when you need it and it is produced then. No more, no less. In fact, at Slant 3D we support on-demand manufacturing. So a Part is made and shipped only when it is ordered.
The combination of those factors allow companies to test, iterate, and scale much faster than with molding. With Production 3D Printing if a design needs to be changed all that has to change is the CAD file. Then every part made after is updated. This is just like changing the color of your website. Companies can now iterate and test in production on products.
How it is Done
3D Printer Farm
At Slant 3D we deploy hundreds of FDM 3D Printers that run 24/7 making parts. With this process each individual part can take quite a bit of time to make. It might take an hour to make a part. But if 100 machines are making that part, we are now producing at 100 parts an hour and 2400 parts per day.
This type of system is called a 3D Printer Farm. Currently Slant 3D operates the largest commercial FDM 3D Printing farm in the US.
High Speed 3D Printing
With this process manufacturers use large single machines that are very fast.
For example Carbon 3D uses a Light-Resin technology to produce parts very quickly. So instead of a part requiring hours it can be done in minutes. This replaces the hundreds of machines with just a few machines. But if a machine breaks down then all of production stops.
HP Multijet Fusion is another high speed machine. But it is best optimized by producing hundreds of small parts in a single batch. Because the machine has to be stopped and the bins with the parts removed each time. With all other processes the part removal is much faster.
Where to Have it Done
High volume 3D Printing is not a common resource but there are a number of companies that can product 1000's of part for you in a number of different specs
Carbon 3D - SLA
Carbon will connect you with its production partners that can produce high resolution resin 3D Prints.
Slant 3D - FDM
Slant 3D Operates one of the largest 3D Printing Farms in the world. You can submit a design directly to them and they quote you within 1-2 days.
Forecast 3D - MJF
Forecast 3D is one of the original HP partners on MJF. They are experienced and able to produce large quantities of small parts very readily.