3D Printing

The Advantages of Additive Manufacturing

At this point we imagine that you likely have already considered parts on demand as being a major benefit of additive manufacturing. It is but it is worth repeating. Being able to access parts almost instantaneously allows a more fluid product development and design process. This brings us full circle back to freedom to redesign without any penalties. For additive manufacturing, there is a need for speed at all phases – quoting, production and shipping. This includes parts needed for end-use applications or for those where it makes sense to use the technology as a bridge to traditional manufacturing.

Whatever the case may be, most end with additive manufacturing acting as the bridge between technologies. This is currently how we at Xometry are set up with our additive AND subtractive manufacturing services. As an example, let’s assume that a supplier producing traditional parts for an automotive manufacturer falls through, a machine could be down for maintenance or they have 100% machine utilization with no capacity to make the needed parts. That automotive manufacturer can turn to an additive manufacturing company such as Xometry to produce the needed thermoplastic pieces instantly in order to keep the factory running. Without these parts on demand enabling continuous production, the factory would have been idle for weeks and costing the company thousands of loss revenue Similarly, looking at a government application of the technology, parts on demand meant saving lives of our armed forces when the production of military flashlights, which are used by soldiers on patrol as well as in night missions, were put on hold because of retooling. With additive manufacturing available to help validate the new flashlight design, it allowed manufacturing assembly to kick in while tooling caught up. Without additive manufacturing’s ability to redesign the part overnight, the wait would have been 12 weeks at minimum.

The demand to obtain parts quickly will continue to rise, especially as the industry becomes increasingly aware of and comfortable with enabling technologies like additive manufacturing. In fact, traditional manufacturing companies are already beginning to increase the number of onsite additive manufacturing machines to fill the void. It is only a matter of time before the most significant benefits of this technology are realized and the future of manufacturing is transformed into global digital factories and Xometry is leading the way!

The Advantages of Additive Manufacturing