High volume 3D printing factories are able to store products digitally and produce them only when they are ordered. This digital manufacturing backend allows business to target long-tail markets without cost for additional SKU's
UnCommon Lamps is a client of Slant 3D that makes use of our digital inventory and fulfillment capabilities. They design and custom Lamps and shades to pursue ultra-niche tastes and provide influencers with branded merchandise that is something other than T-Shirts and Mugs.
How it works is Uncommon will receive and license artwork. They then use their processes and designers to integrate that artwork onto 3D models of lampshades. Once the design is complete they send the files to Slant 3D for integration into the 3D printing farm. Once an order comes in it is forwarded to the farm and the lamp is produced and shipped within 1-2 days. Uncommon is essentially the equivalent of an app developer. But instead of making apps they are making 3D model files. They have no expenses on production until an order it placed. At that point they essentially a receive a royalty for each sale.
This capability to manufacture a part perfectly on demand creates a huge opportunity for brands, creators, and engineering companies. It allows them perfectly match and scale with demand with no significant capital outlay.
Don't Make Everything Custom
While on-demand production 3D printing is a great resource for hardware designers, there are some technical pointers that any designer should take into account when creating a group of products.
There is a setup process and optimization that should occur when integrating a new 3D printed product. The best way to minimize this is only change a single feature of the product between SKU's. Or even better, create a basic foundation that designs can be imprinted on.
In the case of Uncommon Lamps. They use the same size lampshade and base for every shade. They only change the imprinted design. This ensures that every new design can be produced without changing the production parameters. So each new lamp does not have to be prototyped and there is now change in per-unit cost between individual designs.
Interested in having your products manufactured with production 3D printing? Submit your design for quoting to Slant 3D. One of our sales engineers will get you a quote within 1 business day.