Whether you already have a print production line in place in-house or are in the process of choosing which print technologies to work with in the near future, it's important not to overlook 3D printing. While 3D print doesn’t represent a revolutionary niche on the market, it has effectively become more affordable, flexible and sought-after by clients across the globe as of 2020. According to Forbes, 80% of enterprises state that 3D printing allows them to innovate faster, with 51% using 3D print actively in their production cycles, with more than 70% of companies finding new applications for 3D printing in 2019 alone.
Stepping into 3D print technology and its printing software today will not only pay dividends but also allow your designers and content creators more freedom to experiment with different materials on a new creative playground. Beyond that, let’s take a look at several concrete reasons why your company needs a 3D printer and its software today to better understand the value proposition of such an investment.
The Expansion of 3D Printing and its Affiliate Industries
As we’ve mentioned previously, 3D printing technology is not a revolutionary new addition to the print market – but what does it actually entail? In short, 3D printing relies on adhesive print processes which shape digital 3D renders of objects via horizontal layers, using a plethora of plastics.
Simon Brook, Head of Content Department at Grab My Essay spoke on the topic briefly: “3D printing is slowly building up to be the next big thing in retail manufacture due to its versatility and growing availability. Custom product modifications, limited product runs and a vast array of materials already available will ensure that most, if not all, print companies invest in 3D in the near future.”
While 3D printing does require specialized 3D rendering and modeling software to be utilized successfully, this requirement is a far cry from traditional offset or manual screen print techniques with unpredictable final results. In addition, some of the more prominent industries already interested in 3D printing services include:
- Jewelry manufacture
- Automotive industry
- Civil engineering
- Educational industry
- Medical industries
Reasons to Invest in 3D Printing and Software Today
Expanded Print Service Portfolio
One of the most beneficial reasons to invest in 3D printing today is to expand your service portfolio. While your recurrent clients might not need 3D printing services daily, specialized projects and production requests will certainly fit the bill.
Your design team will undoubtedly have growing pains when it comes to 3D modeling and production – which is to be expected for a disruptive new device in the company. Using publically available 3D print models is also a viable choice until your production staff and designers develop their own style and approach to modeling, expanding your service portfolio even further.
Scalable Print Quantities
While not common, clients will sometimes want to expand or shrink their orders once the contract has already been green-lit. There will always come a time when X copies are missing from the total count or a client might need Y amount of certain items at the final moment.
The nature of 3D printing allows companies to print as many or as few of each product line as necessary for individual projects. This is in stark contrast to traditional printing technologies which would require your staff to create specialized plates or screens and waste precious time and resources in doing so.
Product Personalization Opportunities
Sometimes, it might be too difficult to make design changes in traditional print media such as posters or books. While necessary, these changes can eat up a lot of your time – time which could be spent working on other projects. When it comes to 3D printing projects however, making changes is a matter of remodeling certain aspects of your design in the 3D print software.
Samantha Nicole, Chief Creative Officer at Studicus spoke on the matter recently: “The level of personalization and modification provided by 3D printing technologies is unprecedented, allowing for on-the-fly changes and creative brainstorming prior to mass manufacture. In many ways, it’s more approachable and straightforward than the traditional print design which will unavoidably take longer to prepare, print and proof.”
Long-Term Cost and Time Savings
Depending on the types of items your clients require, 3D printing can be vastly superior to traditional manufacturing processes. The difference here, being that you can quickly shift between completely different projects on a moment-to-moment basis.
Manufacturing small toys, manufacture items such as screws and joints, as well as a plethora of medical materials, industrial items, school requisites, etc. can all be done on a single production line. In turn, 3D printing can save precious time and resources for your company, allowing you to onboard more clients and position yourself as a versatile printing firm on the local market.
More Creative Freedom
As the name suggests, 3D printing is a 3-dimensional process which requires a different approach compared to traditional 2D printing techniques. The 3D software package which comes bundled with your 3D printer will, in reality, be unlike anything your design staff came into contact with previously.
That being said, it allows for a much higher level of creativity and ideation when it comes to developing new products for your clients. This will differentiate your brand from local competition in significant ways, expanding your reach and collaboration viability for clients who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in working with a printing company previously.
Waste Reduction & Green Printing
Lastly, 2D print, while a modern necessity, does leave a mark on the environment. From processing fumes to paper waste, 2D print is slowly becoming a bane of modern print companies for its less-than-green requirements. Given the current ecological state of our world, painting a greener picture of your brand should be a priority.
Contrary to traditional printing, 3D print relies on maximizing the use of any given material in its manufacturing processes, lowering your costs and leaving a smaller chemical footstep as a result. 3D printing, while still in its infancy as a wide-spread printing technique, is a much greener, cleaner and environment-friendly approach to print manufacture compared to its counterparts.
Jumping from 2D to 3D ideation and production is a tall order even for high-performing print companies with resources to spare. Don’t look at 2D and 3D printing as either-or; instead, try to make good use of both techniques to deliver higher value to your clients going forward. That way, you will still generate revenue through traditional means while also expanding your portfolio and area of expertise with 3D printing software, pioneering new manufacture trends in the industry.
Bio: Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at Trust My Paper writing services and is trying to improve her and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That's why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people. Also, she writes for LiveInspiredMagazine, rounding out her professional writing career.
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