Businesses—including small businesses—can benefit from all sorts of technology. One main type of technology is 3D printing, which paves the way for small businesses to save more on printing products and promotional materials. Here are the main ways 3D printing can help small businesses.
Know Your Business
Before you invest in 3D printing for your business, understand the kind of small business you have and if 3D printing is the best option for you. Be aware that 3D printing can streamline and enhance the production of many things, but it may not be a viable substitute for heavy-duty, highly specialized products.
Say, however, you’re in the restaurant industry and thinking of the different ways you could make better eating utensils for customers. 3D printing is the perfect solution, as you can use food-safe filament to create these utensils quickly, cheaply, and efficiently. And since the designs are digital, you easily make necessary adjustments.
Less Outsourcing Required
Many small business owners end up outsourcing most of their work for one reason or another. Commonly outsourced things might include small marketing items such as mugs or keychains.
Outsourcing is fine, but it could lead to not always knowing where your products are coming from or if they’ll arrive on time to meet deadlines. No one wants to play this waiting game, but adding 3D printers to your equipment supply can help you cut back on outsourcing. For example, the keychain you originally outsourced can now be mass-produced in-house quickly and with inexpensive material.
When you choose 3D printing, you save on operational and manufacturing costs and improve production speed by doing more in-house. Now you can know exactly where your product is coming from, and you won’t need to halt production because an outsourced product is late.
Less Heavy Lifting, More Space
Every business-owner can probably relate to the struggle of using heavy equipment for production purposes. This equipment is cumbersome and often a hassle to use. Many business owners also run into the problem of not having sufficient space for the equipment they need to create their products.
With 3D printing, however, no heavy machinery is used at all—just a small printer that can create all the things you need for your company. 3D printers use less space than other traditional equipment—all they require is space for the printer, special computer software, and the right filament.
Products Are High-Caliber
Each production stage—from developing the idea and creating blueprints to testing parts and producing the final product—is vital to creating products that last. Luckily, 3D-printing technology is available to make products of the highest quality while making each production stage easily achievable. Because 3D printers are so reliable, using a high-quality printer that can perfectly calibrate thickness, temperature, and retraction will lead to high-caliber products every time.
A 3D printer keeps the production flow steady, so you won’t fret about potential malfunctions throughout the process. You may find flaws in your workflow, but with a 3D printer, the workflow is completely adjustable. You can also save time by sending the same prototype back through again to fix any errors and make changes.
The days of needing to halt production are long over if you have 3D printing. As an innovative and durable tool with long-lasting parts, you should be able to rely on your 3D to rarely break down. If, however, your machine does break down, it’s easy to purchase parts, as they’re relatively inexpensive and widely available. Filament is also easily purchased and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, making production as efficient and straightforward as possible.
Reduction in Overhead Costs
If you want to reduce the amount you pay in overhead costs such as rent and power, one way is to decrease the number of workers and equipment used in production. A 3D printer does just that. Because of its versatile abilities and self-sufficiency, a 3D printer reduces the need for multiple pieces of specific machinery and extra employees to manage them.
3D Printing Supplies Are Widely Available
As happens with all businesses at some point or another, you will probably run out of production supplies. This can be a hassle, as you need to wait on materials before you can begin production again. However, if you use 3D printers and run out of filament, the restocking process is easy. Filament is widely available, making it accessible and quick to restock.
Production Is Environmentally Friendly
If you’re concerned about the environment, you might want to rethink your production strategy if you work with heavy machinery. This machinery can produce harmful contaminants and fumes, creating an unsafe work environment if you don’t have a large building with proper ventilation.
This problem doesn’t exist with 3D printers. Additionally, even though filament isn’t always made from eco-friendly materials, you can recycle the scraps into new projects, reducing waste.
3D Printing Streamlines Mass Production
3D printing is a great tool to use when you need to make many copies of one item. This is especially worthwhile to customers that need to mass-produce a product. While mass production can cost a lot if you use some traditional methods, it’s more cost-effective with a 3D printer because it adjusts to your specifications using 3D-modeling software.
For example, the most traditional method of mass-producing items of the same variety relies on plastic molding, forming, and joining. Although costs may seem low for this traditional practice, the demand for tools and supplies is high, so you spend more money waiting on and fixing the right equipment. Conversely, 3D printing can achieve everything traditional plastic molding, forming, and joining can, but it can accomplish it with less equipment and can easily adjust to any project requirement.
Why Small Businesses Should Adopt New Technology
In addition to streamlining your production and reducing costs, using 3D printers helps your small business maintain a competitive edge. As a business owner, you should put your best foot forward and invest in new equipment to satisfy growing industry needs. With better, modern tech, you can enhance your business’s ability to produce and serve customers, helping you grow.
Now you know the many ways 3D printing can help small businesses. If you want to use 3D printing in your own business and need filament, shop 3D printing filament at Filamatrix. Our selection of filament can improve the quality of your production and provide you consistent results. Rest easy with Filamatrix as your trusted 3D printer filament supplier.