Blog Post

February 22, 2024
Additive Manufacturing

5 Advantages to Additive Manufacturing

1. Design Flexibility

With an additive manufacturing process like 3D Printing, we can create almost anything. The 3D process allows for designs unable to be manufactured using injection molding to be made while increasing part strength and using less material. Sometimes, complete assemblies can be printed in one-piece thus reducing part count and complex secondary assembly work. With the variety of 3D printers and materials available to us today, we can produce any style part in an array of sizes. At Mack Prototype, we are home to one of the largest 3D printers in New England, the Stratasys F770!

Mack Prototype President, Greg Cebular, with a large part printed on the Stratasys F770.

2. Fast Iterations

Additive manufacturing with 3D printing allows for the customer to see their project come to life much quicker than with traditional molding or machining processes. With fast iterative processes, design issues can be resolved more quickly, which reduces likelihood for tooling rework, unforeseen costs and project delays. Understanding the importance of open communication and time to market, our team works closely with our customers. Because of this, we can make design changes to a part based on customer feedback and re-print the part immediately.

3. Prototype to Production

We can go from the prototype phase to the production phase of a project in days with additive manufacturing because it does not require tooling. Processes like Injection Molding require an upfront investment in tooling to make production parts which can take months before being production ready. With additive manufacturing, we can 3D print, test, and produce parts rapidly to start revenue flowing right away for our customers.

4. Bridge Production

Forecasting production is difficult, especially for new products where demand can ramp up fast. Companies might realize they need thousands of parts made with very little lead time. Bridge production allows the company to continue producing parts for their customers using the 3D printing process while injection molding designs are verified and tooling is made. By using Bridge Production, companies can bridge the months long process from prototype to production. This helps them be quick to market with immediate revenue channels they can use to save money for long term cost savings with capital tooling purchases.

Printed on DLS 3D printer by Carbon

5. Numerous Technologies & Materials

Today, there are hundreds of options for additive manufacturing due to all the new technologies and materials available. At Mack Prototype, we utilize five major plastic 3D Printing technologies: HP Multi Jet Fusion, SLS, SLACarbon DLS, and FDM. Each 3D printer technology is different. They have their own set of specialized materials and each has advantages over the others depending on what kind of part you need. A company’s options are almost limitless when it comes to additive manufacturing and this can be overwhelming at times. Because of this Mack Prototype’s team works to find the right 3D process and material based on the customer’s needs and specifications.

 

Do you still have questions about additive manufacturing? Contact us!