Gone are the days when 3D printing was used solely for the purpose of manufacturing companies. 3D printers are becoming widely available and a wide range of different businesses can now afford to include them in their everyday operations. And they certainly should, because even small businesses stand to benefit immensely from the ownership of 3D printers. 3D printing opens up new frontiers for small businesses and here is why you should think about including 3D printing technology in your business.
Prototyping and Product Development
Owing to the fact that the prices of most 3D printers and materials are continually decreasing, creating your own products can be a cost-effective alternative to outsourcing your product development. 3D printing can help a small and upcoming business to produce prototypes of almost any type of products.
This can give you a more realistic opportunity as far as detecting the failures of such machines and materials is concerned. You can test several different variations of your prototype and easily detect weak spots. This can save you a lot of money in the process. Several models, parts, and subsystems can be tested, making the technology a must-have for all small businesses.
Many times, your clients might ask you to customize their physical gadgets to meet their specifications. This is can often be expensive when relying on third-party manufacturers.
The advancement of smaller 3D printing appliances can make it easy for you to use compatible software whenever you seek to customize the items. This is normally done within a short period of time, which proves how beneficial the technology is to a small business seeking to expand to new frontiers.
More importantly, there is no need of advanced design knowledge to produce customized and practical items. When using 3D printers, ideas can easily be conceptualized and transformed into objects. The use of a unique software enables you to fully implement your ideas.
The easiest way for a small business to expand is proper marketing. 3D printers can enable you to come up with various customized items which can be used to promote your small business. The use of 3D printed marketing items can also help you cut your advertising costs.
Similarly, long lasting three-dimensional business cards can be printed, which makes this technology even more beneficial. The adoption of such technology proves to your clients that you are creative and that you are strongly committed to offering top-notch products and services.
Providing 3D Print Services
3D printers are not only beneficial to you but also other individuals and business owners you do business with. With the technology quickly gaining popularity, there has been a remarkable growth of a lucrative venture that is 3D printing. It is even estimated that the 3D printing market will be worth $13 billion by 2018. Those businesses that own a 3D printer will have limitless access to advanced business models, which were hitherto inaccessible.
Your business can profit by providing services such as 3D photo printing within your local business community. In addition, you can easily reproduce other people’s products. The provision of such services can make you a focal point within the business community.
The cost of buying 3D printers has been continuously decreasing over the past few years, making them an affordable asset for your company. Owning one can help you save on operational costs by up to 70 percent. This is a sizeable portion of any small firm’s revenue. When these hi-tech printers are used, less manpower is needed. This enables employees to fully focus on other areas of production, thus increasing their productivity.
Furthermore, owning your own 3D printer means you don’t have to outsource your product development to third party manufacturers. Some manufacturing companies have a specified minimum number or products you can order. If you need only several items, ordering in bulk may not be the most cost effective option. However, owning an in-office 3D printer enables you to produce the exact number of products you need, thus, eliminating unnecessary costs.
3D printing is much faster when compared to conventional printing methods. Industrial 3D printers have the ability to produce many prototypes within a short time span. Traditional production methods, on the other hand, can take several days and are gradually becoming obsolete. The time saved ultimately translates to money saved.
More often than less, outsourcing 3D printing can take up to one week, or even much longer. This is a lot of time, which can be spent on other important activities within the business setup. Placing orders, making approvals, and other related processes are unnecessary if you have your own in-house 3D printer.
Owing to its incredible speed, 3D printing utilizes an on-demand production model. This negates the need to fill warehouses with products in anticipation of future sales. This particularly benefits smaller businesses, which further highlights why you should own a 3D printer.
The importance of 3D printers to a small business should not be overlooked at all costs. These gadgets make it possible for you to experience cutting-edge technology while expanding your business at the same time. The fast-paced nature of the commercial world makes 3D printing the next big thing. The software being advanced is user-friendly and can be used in combination with powerful hardware to create top-notch products. The mainstream acceptability that 3D printing has had clearly shows that it extends beyond its predetermined boundaries within the fields of technology and manufacturing.
Photo 1: “3D Printer” by MKzero is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Photo 2: “3D Printer” by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine is licensed under CC0 1.0