All you Need to know to Start a 3D Printing Business

What is 3D Printing Business?

Through 3D printing technology, complex 3D objects are manufactured through digital files. A complete 3D object can be easily printed with the help of various types of additive processes. A 3D object can be developed through laying down multiple layers of the same material. Each layer can be seen under the eye of a microscope. 3D printing allows businesses to create intricate designs in less time and manufacturing expenditures.

Businesses Use 3D printing

Today, 3D printing technology is used in a variety of different industries and businesses. Some of the most popular businesses and industries are:

  1. Automotive Industry
  2. Aviation Industry
  3. Construction Services
  4. Medical and Healthcare Products
  5. Aeronautics
  6. Food and Beverages
  7. Education
  8. Textile Industry

How Much Does a Commercial 3D Printer Cost?

A commercial 3D Printer can range anywhere between $15,000 to $150,000. The 3D printers used at industrial levels are very different from those used in homes and small businesses. These commercial 3D printers are designed to print out high quality 3D objects in less time and effort. Nevertheless, these printers can be quite expensive to maintain.

Also, the interior of a 3D printer is very sturdy and durable as it is used to print out large sized 3D spare parts and accessories. Its yearly maintenance involves purchasing premium quality proprietary materials and accessories.

Therefore, if your business is new and you cannot afford commercial level 3D printers, try to opt for smaller printers to avoid high operating expenses. The performance and scalability of 3D printers is crucial to consider before planning to invest in 3D commercial printers.

How Long Does it Take to 3D Print Something?

The time required to print out an entire 3D object from a 3D printer depends on the height and material of the object that you plan to manufacture. The speed also depends on the model of your 3D printer and its printing resolution. Other important factors that can effect the printing speed of various objects includes the temperature of the 3D printing nozzle, laser power, layer and filament thickness, etc. The efficiency and printing speed are the major challenges faced by businesses when using 3D printing technology to print various 3D objects in bulk quantities.

Uses of 3D Printing

Today the use of 3D printing technology is not restricted to a particular field or industry. It is currently being used by the following businesses and industries.

start a 3d printing business

  1. Automobile Industry

3D printing technology is considered as a faster, versatile and affordable option for creating prototypes.

Today, different automobile manufacturing companies use 3D printers to create prototypes of their spare parts or new car designs. This makes it easier for businesses to create intricate designs with more accuracy and precision.

  1. Creating 3D Prosthetic

3D printing technology has gained immense popularity in the health care sector, especially in the field of prosthetic.Creating prosthetic requires accuracy and its customization can be quite expensive, therefore, 3D printing helps to reduce the price of customized prosthetic.A lot of research is still being made to replicate human organs through 3D printing technology.

  1. Creating Concrete Houses

Another interesting use of 3D printers is developing houses and buildings. Today, it is possible to create an entire neighborhood through 3D printing. These houses are more affordable than conventional houses and can be developed in less time and manpower.

However, 3D printers can only work on concrete. They cannot be used for metals and other materials required in the construction of houses. In 2016, an entire building in Dubai was developed through this technology. Similarly, in 2017, a 3D printing firm named Apis Corcreated an entire house through 3D printing technology in just 24 hours.

Pros of 3D Printing

start a 3d printing business

3D printing technology is undoubtedly revolutionizing conventional manufacturing practices. The most significant feature of 3D printing technology is its ability to create various prototypes within a few hours. Through 3D printers, complex designs can be printed with more accuracy and consistency.

3D printers allow users to create realistic prototypes that look and feel like the actual product. This helps to save time as technical errors or flaws in a prototype can be detected and fixed beforehand.Another major benefit of 3D printers is the elimination of excessive labor costs. Traditional methods of subtractive manufacturing rely on manpower, whereas, 3D printing doesn’t require much staff or workers for creating prototypes.

Make a Business With a 3D Printer

Today, 3D printing is a 20 billion dollar industry.Setting up a 3D printing business requires both; technical and creative skills in order to maximize profits. The unique aspect of 3D printing technology which sets it apart from other manufacturing processes is its flexibility and scalability for transforming various products, tools and accessories into a work of art.

What Do You Need for a Printing Business?

In order to set up your own 3D printing business, you need to consider the following elements to ensure the success of your business.

Printing Software

There are many types of open-source printing software available online. You can even use online shareware for completing your initial 3D print projects. Later, you can license a 3D print modeling software.When investing in a 3D print software, make sure to check its support generation and compatibility with different 3D printer models.

Material

Try to use high quality material for 3D printing that can make your final 3D objects more durable and sturdy.Thermoplastic filament,polylactic acid and ABS plastics mostly used in 3D printing. The thermoplastic filament is available in different color spool sits thickness is mostly around 3mm.

Printing Speed and Resolution

If you are planning to manufacture a product in bulk quantities, then it is recommended to invest in those 3D printers that have a high processing speed. Similarly, if you want to print more detailed and intricate designs, then it is recommended to use stereolithographic printers.

These printers operate via photosensitive resin along with UV laser technology for printing high resolution objects.

Future of 3D Printing

3d printing in progress
3d printing in progress

3D printing technology is expected to improve and grow even more in the coming years. Major global industries including healthcare, construction, automotive and aeronautics have benefited a lot from this technology in the recent years. 3D printing allow users to create accurate and consistent designs in large quantities in less time and budget.

It can be used in replicating complex designs of human organs, teeth and bones and creating various electrical circuits with the help of AI technology. Major manufacturing processes will be automated and would not require much space or manpower. Buildings, houses, factories and other complex structures will be designed entirely through 3D printing technology.

Disadvantages of a 3DPrinter

3D printing technology is more fast and economical than conventional manufacturing methods. However, just like any other newer technology or invention, there are certain negative aspects associated with 3D printing technology.

In a research conducted at Lough borough University, it was revealed that 3D printers consume 50% more electrical energy than conventional manufacturing machines.Presently, 3D printers work with plastic and concrete for printing 3D objects. Many models require high levels of electrical energy and accessories that are not readily available in the market.Many older models cannot be even easily connected to a Wi-Fi.

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