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07 October 2021
Discovering 3D printing and its benefits
3D Incubator Press
Today, many people still think of home printers when they think of 3D printing, but the reality is that there is a great variety of manufacturing methods that offer a wide range of possibilities. In this post we will learn how additive manufacturing works and its main benefits.

 

WHAT IS 3D PRINTING?

3D printing, also called Additive Manufacturing, makes it possible to create things by growing them, as an alternative to assembling, shaping or cutting them.

Each 3D printer allows you to create parts based on the same basic principle: A digital model becomes a three-dimensional object by adding material layer by layer.

 

PRESENT AND FUTURE OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

The evolution of Additive Manufacturing in recent years has transformed the way we design, develop, produce and distribute products

Now that the technology has reached a certain level of maturity, the next necessary step for companies is to acquire a trained and qualified workforce.

The skills required range from the design of technological equipment to data management. Demand for additive manufacturing skills began to increase significantly in the first half of 2016 compared to the previous year, placing profiles such as mechanical engineers, 3D modellers, 3D technicians, and design engineers among the most sought-after professionals. However, qualified and experienced professionals are still difficult to find today.

Spain is still, however, at the bottom of the league among the main powers in the 3D printing sector.

 

WHY OPT FOR 3D PRINTING? THESE ARE ITS BENEFITS 

Additive Manufacturing cannot be equated, in some respects, with other industrial manufacturing methods. Nevertheless, it offers several competitive advantages that make it increasingly attractive for multiple sectors:

 

1. Creativity

3D printing offers the designer a certain freedom, within the limitations of each technology, to create unique and geometrically complex pieces without the need for assembly

In addition, the production system (layer by layer) allows the creation of lightweight (by reducing the thickness of the layers or by means of an internal mesh or lattice) and optimized parts

 

 2. Flexibility and customization

Having the freedom to perform short series, it is possible to carry out various tests quickly in order to make modifications to the prototype until the final design is attained. 

The technology also makes it possible to customize a design to the maximum and, on industrial machinery, to produce several totally customized and different designs in a single print. 

Finally, some technologies allow the production of parts incorporating various types of materials and the creation of multi-material products. 

 

 3. Reduction of 'Time to market'

With additive manufacturing technologies, the time, from conception through prototyping and final development of the piece to reaching the market, is significantly reduced, for the following reasons: 

  • Production of the final piece is simplified, without the need for tooling. 
  • The technology makes it possible to carry out variable runs of parts and to produce according to demand. In this way, the space required for spare parts or stock is also reduced, and storage becomes digital with cloud-based designs of the various parts. 
  • Creating designs with complex geometries in a single print reduces the assembly time of multiple parts required in a traditional production system. 
  • The size and characteristics of the technology allow factories to be moved closer to cities, to non-industrial environments, thus reducing the time needed to obtain the final part required. 

 

 4. Accessibility

Through 3D printing technology it is possible to obtain 100% customized pieces at a lower cost than would be required for handmade custom work; this quality allows access to products that until now were considered luxury items. 

In addition, the low cost and small size of some equipment make it accessible from a non-industrial and/or domestic environment.  

 

 5. Transversality

Additive manufacturing is already a tool in numerous sectors: food, medicine, electronics, the production of consumer goods, construction and industry, among others. Furthermore, it has had a major impact on mobility, including the automotive, rail, shipping, aeronautical and aerospace industries. 

 

STILL WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

Sign up for our free webinar: “El impacto actual de la impresión 3D en la industria [ES]”. Learn about the different 3D Printing technologies, materials and applications and join the 4th industrial revolution!

We look forward to seeing you on 15th October from 11:30am to 12:30pm (UTC/GMT +1h) in the free webinar given by Alba García Miranda, Head of Training at the 3DIncubator. Sign up here!





El Consorci de Zona Franca de Barcelona Fundación LEITAT




Project name: High Technology Incubators to promote Innovation and Technology Transfer to Micro-SMEs by the autonomous Community of Catalonia. Resolution IAT 1809.

Name of the operation: D-Factory High Technology Incubator in advance manufacturing, additive manufacturing and 3DP.

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