The Largest 3D Printing Factory Is Coming
According to Gabe Bentz,” he is a roboticist and entrepreneur who discovered the value of 3D printing while developing products at his company, Slant Concepts. He is a founder of Slant 3D, one of the highest-capacity 3D printer farms in the world. Imagine creating and scaling a physical product as easily as you would a digital one.”
1 year ago
A point that I don’t think that I quite hit home in the talk. 3D Printing is actually cheaper than injection molding up to around 25,000 parts, since the cost of the mold is eliminated and the material cost is low for a large printer farm that can operate at scale.
It truly is a manufacturing technology for producing large quantities of items at scale.
1 year ago (edited)
This is not in context of high volume production, however eventually on scale it will be. 3D printing bypasses all these overheads. It’s early days, however as product complexity increases along with 3D printing technology, it will take more and more business away from conventional injection molding. 3D printing represents the future of manufacturing. Big companies are getting into it big time. Production of fully functional mechanical devices straight off the bat as one process, is near impossible with injection molding at an affordable cost. 3D printing does this comparatively easily and cost effectively, with no or minimal parts assembly.
1 year ago (edited)
Bondy Sure, 3D printing reduces design time. Again, this is 1 time cost. How about the failure of 3D printing? If you print 1 million parts, you multiply this risk by 1 million. From my experience, 3D printers aren’t that reliable. All it takes to ruin a part is 1 second’s random error in 5 hours printing. Assuming you have 95% success rate, 1 flawed part in 20 is not acceptable beyond prototype stage. There are also invisible flaws like poor layer adhersion. It looks fine, but snap it along z-axis, and it falls apart. Even if you figure in the extra material cost, how about the cost of quality check? Either you need to hire extra staff to do quality check, or develop machine learning (very very difficult) for every type of product. From my experience, even when 3D printing can theoretically print almost anything in 1 run, it is better to keep parts reasonably small to reduce the failure cost. In mass production, this basically nerfs its edge over molding in terms of simplified design.
1 year ago
Got a quote from these guys last during the winter, not bad pricing, but here’s the big problem with this concept of quick manufacture: most products are not only plastic so you need to assemble extra parts and also package the item. So whereas yes, you can manufacture plastic faster, it’s not cheaper and you will have the extra expense of assembling and packaging.
Plus, Slant wants to build a whole bunch of units for you and ship them, thus building inventory anyway, which defeats one of the biggest benefits of 3d printing: very low inventory.