When is 3D Printing Cost-Effective?

3d printing

The design world seemed to open up to vast creative ideas when the 3D printer became a reality. Think up a part and print it out. The modern age was upon the world. Businesses began to put 3DP into their budgets, but some costs were a bit confusing. It’s critical to understand when a 3D printing service is cost-effective. Explore the top-three factors to consider before sending out a design.

1. Infill Amounts

3D printing is cost-effective when engineers can manipulate infill amounts on a given part. A classic example of infill manipulation is found in chocolate bunnies produced in the springtime. Consumers find solid bunnies, but for the most part, the products are all hollow. This production strategy lowers the bunny’s cost while still offering a quality product.

Online 3D printing uses this same concept. Engineers might change their infill amounts from 50 or 60 percent to around 20 percent. As long as the part has structural integrity, the infill amount can be as minimal as possible. Reducing the material amounts and limiting the part to a small size are the keys to a cost-effective printing job.

2. Prototyping and Small Jobs

Choosing a 3D printing session from a reputable business, such as 3D Hubs, is cost-effective for small jobs. A company may need only 100 parts created for a limited product being considered for retail stores. The print job may seem large, but it’s adequate enough to come in at a low price point.

Companies that need thousands of parts created, however, may see higher costs. Purchasing their own equipment is more cost-effective in this situation.

Most engineers are looking for small batches of parts for their needs, which fits in well with the 3DP world. Prototyping is still a perfect match with 3DP, for instance. Parts that used to cost thousands of dollars to just test drive in the factory are now a fraction of the price.

3. Design Details

A part is worth the effort of 3D printing when the design has several machining steps. Contrary to popular belief, choosing a simple design for 3DP doesn’t necessarily make the cost extremely inexpensive. Businesses are discovering that a complex design might be the perfect candidate for online 3D printing.

For example, a company needs a part created that will ultimately resemble a sphere. The company, however, needs to perform some proprietary work to the item during their post-processing stages. They pay for 3DP that simply creates a block formation. The print job is a low-cost session that allows the company to machine the part afterward.

There’s no need to pay for strict tolerances or cutting edges. The part is cost-effective for this company’s purposes. They ultimately control the manufacturing process at the core level.

Working with 3D Hubs is a clever way to manage those engineering dreams. They can answer those hard-hitting questions so that costs are always managed. Stay on target with those profit goals. A 3D printing session may be the answer to a company’s design challenges.