Advantage of 3D Printing for Low Volume Production | 3D2GO Philippines

How Is 3D Printing for Low Volume Production An Advantage?

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How Is 3D Printing for Low Volume Production An Advantage?

How can 3D printing services become advantageous for low volume production?

In the past, companies that wanted to produce a plastic product first had to create tooling or molds before producing a single end-use product. 

When considering a target distribution quantity of less than 5,000 – 10,000 units, the cost associated with an injection mold tool can become a roadblock.

For example, an injection mold for a simple small part that you could hold in the palm of your hand can easily reach into the ₱5,000+ range. If the part is larger, say something you needed two hands to hold that also requires some complexity in the tool design (lifters or slides for undercuts) the tooling costs could easily reach ₱30,000+.

Meanwhile, the wait time for a mold to be fabricated can stretch from 12 up to 24 weeks depending on its size and complexity. 

All of this makes it very difficult to justify the expense and lead time of an injection mold for low-volume production runs.  

This is where 3D printing for low volume production starts to become a cost-effective, faster, and more flexible option for plastic parts.

 

Where 3D Printing Services Fit In With Prototyping & Low-Volume Production

Traditionally, 3D printing solutions were only used for prototyping. With recent advancements, 3D printing systems further allow low-volume manufacturing along with rapid prototyping in one machine. 

3D printing for low volume production allows companies to bring a production-ready product to market quickly, without the high cost of tooling and time investment with traditional manufacturing methods. 3D printing production solutions can also derisk low-volume manufacturing operations and increase agility. 

For large manufacturing parts, CNC machining is the preferred method for prototyping and low-volume production. 

However, the design freedom, no tooling, and speed with 3D printing production solutions make it the best option for many applications. Moreso, with the introduction of smart factories with 3D printing services, the transition from prototyping or low-volume to high-volume manufacturing will be more seamless. 

Prototyping and Low-Volume Production Agility

3D printers don’t require tooling. Thus, prototypes or finished products can immediately go into production. With no tooling changes between prototyping and low-volume production, companies are more agile :

  • Prototype many designs in parallel – With no tooling, multiple prototype versions can be printed in parallel with production-grade material. Printing variants simultaneously saves time and increases the number of designs evaluated, enabling companies to bring higher performing and more cost-effective products to market.
  • Produce multiple SKUs with a single process – With greater flexibility, multiple SKUs can be put into production with a single process. Each SKU can be a variation of a single design or a unique product.
  • Respond to the market with product changes – Companies can launch and modify designs during and after initial production runs as market demand changes. No tooling is needed to start production or to make new designs or improvements, increasing production agility and reducing sales risk. 

Prototype and Scale On-Demand with a Smart Factory

When a company needs additional capacity or is preparing to scale, 3D printing here at 3D2GO provides an alternative prototyping and low-volume production solution. 

Qualified designs go straight into low-volume production, or a designer can access a remote 3D printer for prototyping runs. 

Cloud-connected 3D printing systems provide on-demand access and give companies a flexible option for prototyping or low-volume production without additional hardware investment.

Transitioning Unique Designs to Production

3D printers can produce unique aesthetic and functional designs that may not be manufactured with traditional processes. As a result, it allows designers to experiment more freely. 

3D printing can also consolidate parts that previously were manufactured separately, reducing the number of assembly steps and costs during prototyping or low-volume production.

 

Ideal parts with low volume 3D printing cost

Some parts are better suited for additive manufacturing than others. 

When dealing with low volume 3D printing you will find it more economical to produce items with the following characteristics:

Small Components Complex Geometries Customised Parts
Small parts are more affordable. Furthermore, large batches can be manufactured quickly.

Small components still have a very high tooling cost for injection molding runs and therefore have a higher volume cut-off for economical 3D printed manufacturing.

Complexity adds a lot of cost to traditional manufacturing methods.

Whereas with additive manufacturing geometry, undercuts and variable thickness do not change the pricing. 3D printed manufacturing has few design restrictions.

Break the mold. No tooling means you are not restricted to producing the same item every time.

Use mass customization and serialization to your advantage.

 

How 3D2GO maximizes our capability with our low volume 3D printing cost

How can low-volume manufacturing help you and your business? Here are just some of what we offer:

An Extensive Range of In-House 3D Services

To meet your diverse low-volume production needs, 3D2GO proudly provides a wide range of in-house manufacturing services deployed with industry-leading agility. 

  • Plastic injection molding
  • CNC machining
  • Pressure die-casting

Industry-Leading Material Verification and Testing Services

Having high-quality materials are the first step to high-quality products. 

We offer advanced incoming material inspection and verification to ensure that all raw materials conform to your exact product specifications.

Design for Manufacturing Support and Remote Flexibility

We provide detailed designs for manufacturing support. For clients who can’t visit our facilities in person, we also offer detailed video files showing all production steps.

A Proven Track Record

With years of combined experience, our engineers and technicians have helped thousands of organizations get their products off the ground. Click on our catalog section and the diversity of our work for yourself.

Intelligent Quotations for Every Project

Low-volume production isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. 

We never require a minimum order volume or minimum dollar value. You can reach us in our Facebook and Instagram pages for fast, accurate quotes in 24 hours or less in nearly all cases.

 

3D Printing for Low Volume Production with 3D2GO

As an innovative 3D printing company, it gives manufacturers access to a flexible, on-demand option for prototyping, low-volume production, and scaling.  

3D2GO’s printing manufacturing technologies give companies access to cloud-connected 3D printers, high-performance materials, and advanced manufacturing services.

Innovate and manufacture with our advanced 3D printing services for prototyping, low-volume, and high-volume manufacturing services. Contact us today!