What is 3D Printing?
3D printing, often known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), is the technique of creating three-dimensional objects from a digital file.
There are a wide variety of AM processes that use different material inputs such as UV cured resin, extruded filament, or fused powder.
These processes are used for different applications, from prototyping a car bumper to manufacturing aluminum airplane components to creating molds for jewelry.
3D printing is commonly used as a means of prototyping as design iterations can be tested quickly with parts being manufactured hours after the design is complete.
Companies are also starting to use AM as a method to manufacture large quantities of end use components as there is added design freedoms compared to injection molding or CNC machining and less inventory is needed when parts can be made on demand.
What Is Multi-Jet Fusion?
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is a AM technique that expands the range of options for complicated, low-cost components. It is ideal for single-part production as well as large prints containing hundreds of components.
MJF’s large volume capabilities can assist industries through initial concepts to low volume manufacturing to spare parts. The technology is ideal for applications that demand both strength and durability. These applications include;
- Electronic housings and enclosures
- Replacement parts
- Thin wall ductwork
- Fixtures and jigs
- Brackets and clips
- Connectors and guides
- Port and connector covers
- Watertight applications
Benefits of 3D Printing in Vancouver
AM produces parts within a few hours, providing quick feedback to designers. This allows each stage of the design to be evaluated quickly and affordably. 3D printing increases the efficiency of product design and shortens the time to market.
Complex designs that were once considered impossible to manufacture are now possible using AM.
Designers have more freedom when creating a new product as 3D printing does not have design restrictions like traditional manufacturing.
On Demand Inventory
Instead of warehousing thousands of parts, inventory can be printed on demand, greatly reducing overhead costs. Companies can store digital directories of their components and print them as needed.
Designs can be updated at anytime removing the risk of inventory becoming obsolete. A few AM machines can replace a large warehouse of inventory.
3D printing is very cost effective as it speeds up the design process and shortens the time to market.
It can also catch design errors before spending thousands of dollars on injection mold tooling. Reworking an injection mold is very expensive and causes significant downtime, and sometimes the mold needs to be fully redone.
Sometimes it is more cost effective for a company to bring a printer in-house to fulfill their needs while other times it makes more sense to outsource the work to a Service Bureau, like Agile Manufacturing, that has a wide range of AM technologies and materials ready on hand.
For short run parts, it is commonly more cost effective to print the components to avoid the up-front costs of an injection mold.
Strong and Lightweight Materials
Plastic is the most commonly used 3D printing medium, although various metals can also be utilized. Plastics have the advantage of being lighter than their metal counterparts.
This is especially essential in industries like automotive and aerospace, where weight is a concern and higher fuel economy may be achieved.
Parts can also be made out of custom materials to give specialized qualities like heat resistance, electrostatic dissipative properties, or increased strength with the addition of glass bead or carbon fiber fill.
Reach out to us at 905-852-0794 to see how we can help your business.
We also provide 3d printing services in the following areas: Kitchener, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal