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A Guide to Bulk 3D Printing

January 8, 2021

Bulk 3D printing is using the 3D print technology as a production tool to make large volumes of printed parts. 3D printing can be used to make any number of custom products, from one unit to 20,000 units. Depending on the amount of manufacturing you are planning on doing, large scale 3D printing assists in helping produce the quantity of parts you need without costly investments in tooling. This is especially important for large scale manufacturers and producers, including automotive manufacturers and those in the gasoline and oil industries, where demand for 3D printed items is on the rise.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who make very small to medium production runs of high value equipment really see the value here because when a company only makes 100 machines per year, they may not want to invest $100,000 or more into a tool but also need to make sure they are getting reliable production parts.

With the introduction of higher demand comes unique complications. Each item produced needs to be the same – no matter how many times it is produced. This is where bulk 3D printing comes in – the industry has made colossal strides in repetitive quality, tighter tolerances. Large 3D printing needs can be done to ensure that items come out the way you envisioned them.

Bulk 3D Printing

What You Need to Know About Bulk 3D Printing

Why is 3D printing gaining rapid adoption from traditional manufacturing technologies? This preference is due to 3D printing not requiring any additional tooling or molds and the ability to make novel parts in days, not weeks or months. Due to the fast turnaround, 3D printing can allow for a more successful product that beats the competition to market and allows for more rapid and less costly iterations based on customer feedback. A digital file is all that is required for the printing process, so changes to the product are as simple and affordable as a few mouse clicks instead of having to take down a whole production line to re-work a mold.


US Manufacturing

Most manufacturers have a supply chain that includes overseas factories in order to avoid higher labor costs. Unfortunately, with overseas factories, there can be unforeseen disruptions to the supply chain. We have seen where manufacturers can find themselves in an unsavory situation due to these issues. Within the last couple of years, between a trade war with China raising tariffs and barring goods while they were on the water to COVID 19 closing borders and causing massive material shortages.

With 3D printing, manufacturing can be done locally and those kinks in the supply chain can be avoided. Many manufacturers with existing supply chains turned to the rapid production of 3D printing to remedy their supply chain crunches and save their production lines.


Reduces Carbon Footprint


Due to 3D printing not needing molding or additional tooling, this reduces waste. Materials to make the products are needed, but nothing else. For many technologies, all excess material is re-used or recycled in a closed loop manufacturing process. This is not cutting an item from a large sheet of material, thus creating waste of which must be disposed. Additionally, the nature of making local products so close to home means cutting down on shipping which reduces fossil fuels and their associated greenhouse gasses.

Less Storage Space and Inventory Needs

With traditional manufacturing, materials needed to make products can take up a lot of space and tie up your liquidity in product on the shelf. Bulk 3D printing is possible without overflowing space with materials – you can actually move your inventories digital and make parts and components only as necessary – when they are ordered! All that is needed is the 3D printer and the plastic “ink” which severely reduces overcrowding in your storage center. Instead of stocking dozens or hundreds of custom parts, a manufacturer can just stock the raw material and turn it into whichever parts they need when they need them. Space is freed up, storage costs are reduced and the money tied up in inventory is now free to be spent on other needs.


3D Printing Provides Benefits For Companies

Due to the reduction in cost, storage, and time, bulk 3D printing has many attractive features which vastly improve the production of many items. For small and big businesses, large 3D printing can help make the manufacturing process more responsive, smoother and functional. If you need to produce high-volume products, hiring a 3D printing service is the next step.

Many companies think they can just buy a low level desktop printer to meet these needs but there are several issues with this. The learning curve can be quite steep, the quality can be low and these machines are terribly slow. Instead many companies are turning to a service bureau like RapidMade, which offers the HP Multi Jet Fusion, a production grade 3D printer that makes the most durable and highest quality 3D prints on the market.

RapidMade’s large scale 3D print facility can turn hundreds of thousands of dollars of 3D printed product every single month and are able to rush orders out in as little as 2 business days. Your company will be able to manufacture at a faster rate than before. By requesting a quote from RapidMade, we can make sure to put together a package that fits best for your needs. There is no tooling required and waste is a thing of the past.

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