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.
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.
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.
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 :
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.
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.
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 can low-volume manufacturing help you and your business? Here are just some of what we offer:
To meet your diverse low-volume production needs, 3D2GO proudly provides a wide range of in-house manufacturing services deployed with industry-leading agility.
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.
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.
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.
Low-volume production isn’t a one-size-fits-all process.
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!