Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Top 4 Reasons to Use 3D Printing Services

If your business needs 3D printed or additive manufactured parts. You have two options: invest in 3D printing equipment or order parts through a 3D printing service provider. Each has its benefits, and often companies will use both for different reasons. In a recent Stratasys survey of 700 professional 3D printing users, we examined the top reasons why companies outsource 3D printing, top benefits of having 3D printers in-house, what processes they would want to outsource and what processes they plan to take in-house.



The most common responses to the benefits of outsourcing 3D printing to a service provider were:

Access to advanced equipment and materials
Over the last few years 3D printing service providers have evolved from rapid prototyping with a few plastic 3D printing technologies to contract manufacturing with a broader service offering. Customers don’t just need plastics anymore; their 3D printing applications have evolved. They need a wide variety of materials from rigid and elastomeric plastics to metals and alloys, 3D printing processes, finishing services and assembly—all under one roof—and don’t have the budget or expertise to take those operations in-house.

Less investment risk
Investing in 3D printing equipment isn’t just a matter of buying equipment, plugging it in and pressing print. It involves investments in training staff, setting up software, maintenance, purchasing consumables (meaning material, print heads, etc.) and even disruptions in overall operations. With such a big investment, you may want to try 3D printing out first and take meditative steps – that’s where 3D printing service providers come in.

Produce parts not able to be manufactured internally
3D printing and manufacturing services can be a great complement to in-house operations. 3D printer owners will often come to Objective3D Service Bureau to try a new materials or process they don’t have in-house. Or conventional manufacturing equipment owners will come to Objective3D Service Bureau for custom 3D printed tooling, jigs and fixtures to improve efficiency on the manufacturing floor.

Access to expertise
Learning how to design for the various 3D printing technologies doesn’t happen overnight and getting it right takes practice. 3D printing service providers have experience working with multiple industries and applications and have developed process controls and a wealth of tribal knowledge to share with customers. One of the main reasons customers order parts through Objective3D Service Bureau is our seasoned project engineers and their expertise in formatting design files for additive manufacturing.

The Stratasys survey also found companies are especially attracted to outsourcing technologies that require more post processing and supplemental equipment, particularly Direct Metal Laser Sintering and Laser Sintering. Overall respondents indicated outsourcing part production is valued as a way to minimize risk and compensate for resources or expertise that doesn’t exist internally.

Australian and New Zealand companies are choosing to work with Objective3D Service Bureau not because they have to, but because they want to. Not only does outsourcing help companies meet production shortfalls, but service providers may have experience with a company’s application type and may be better suited to help them realize additive manufacturing’s full potential. The interest in ongoing access to expertise, spanning across the entire spectrum of product development and technology adoption, helps explain why survey respondents expressed interest in working with service providers even after they’ve purchased additive manufacturing equipment.

It’s an exciting time to be in this challenging and rewarding industry. While the future holds incredible potential, the expanded adoption of 3D printing for end-use parts does not happen in the blink of an eye—it happens one application at a time. It’s our job to take your amazing new ideas for products and technologies and champion them into real applications, one-by-one, by identifying ways 3D printing can bring them to life faster and easier. While it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s something we at Objective3D Service Bureau are uniquely and exceptionally good at. We get to know each part and project at a level that transcends the customer’s company or industry needs, allowing us to create unique solutions using a variety of tools.

Download the full report to find more reasons to use 3D printing services.

The Objective3D Service Bureau is certified ISO 9001:2008 compliant and is powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines providing the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Service Bureau is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process.

Have parts to build? Try out our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTE or for more details, visit www.objective3d.com.au or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS)  09-801 0380 (NZ)