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How To Use Additive Manufacturing To Improve Your Manufacturing Process-Part 2

Part 2 in a two-part blog series. 

In last week's blog, we discussed three ways you can improve your manufacturing process using additive manufacturing technology. In this week's blog, we'll talk about what additive manufacturing capabilities are required to enable manufacturers to implement the three process improvements we outlined: 1) Augmenting your additive manufacturing lab with industrial-class office 3D printers, 2) 3D print replacement and custom tooling on the production floor and 3) 3D print short-run, end-use custom products outside the lab.

Additive manufacturing capabilities required to enable manufacturers to improve their manufacturing processes

  • Products manufactured with 3D printers must possess the same material properties (strength, surface finish, HDT, etc.) as injection molded parts.
  • 3D printed products will need to be in the same full color that you expect from parts manufactured using traditional means.
  • If you’re going to put a printer in your office, on the production floor, in the field or in your medical office, the process must be clean and safe and without harmful outgassing. And, to produce many types of products, the materials must also be safe.
  • In addition, the system must be compact and light enough for placement in any office or field environment, yet have a large enough build volume to print most parts needed.
  • Since you’ll use the 3D printer in part to gain cost efficiencies for your low-volume manufacturing process, it needs to be affordable to purchase and, more importantly, operate.
  • And, since the 3D printer will be operated by mechanical and manufacturing engineers, mechanics, soldiers, doctors and people who aren’t expert users of additive manufacturing equipment, it must be as easy to use as your typical document printer. You need to be able to send your file to the printer, press ‘print’ and have your completed product a few hours later.

However, the reality of today’s printers is that they can’t meet all these requirements.

At one end of the spectrum, you have professional 3D printers that serve prototyping and tooling applications. And these systems must, or should be, located in labs. Or, you have hobby printers marketed as commercial 3D printers that simply can’t meet the needs of industrial applications.

At the other end of the spectrum, in the realm of serving manufacturing applications, we have the metal 3D printers, HP and Carbon. But all these systems must remain in the lab; they cannot break out into the manufacturing environment and they require you to make sacrifices in complexity, time, cost, and even material properties.

There’s an enormous unmet market between prototyping and manufacturing for functional prototypes and custom one-offs of production parts on demand in an office, next to the assembly line, mechanic’s shop…you name it, that those technologies can’t address; only Rize can.

Rize is changing how products are designed and manufactured, providing the only additive manufacturing technology that enables manufacturers and other commercial users to speed R&D and production processes up to 100% and save $Millions by producing injection molded-quality parts on demand, virtually anywhere, quickly, easily, cleanly safely and affordably.

Our dual extrusion/jetting technology enables us to 3D print replacement parts and custom tooling in the field. Looking ahead into the not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to print products like industrial brackets with composite materials, functional fillers; microchip heat sink with defined microstructure materials; multilayer batteries with smart sensors and hearing aids with variable hardness. We’ll even be able to print products that are flame retardant, conductive and more!

So, let’s return to the original checklist of improvements you need to make to your manufacturing process that we outlined in last week's blog, and see how using Rize additive manufacturing technology to 1. Augment your AM lab 2. Produce custom and replacement tooling, fixtures and jigs on the production floor and 3. Build one-offs of custom, end-use products in shops and doctors’ offices meets those needs:

  • You need to speed your production process. Using Rize technology to build injection molded-quality parts on demand, outside the lab, can speed your process by up to 100%.
  • You need to cut costs. Using Rize can save you millions per year in labor, facilities, materials, time to market and other significant expenses.
  • You need to reduce part errors and since Rize increases the number of iterations each engineer can complete per design, the accuracy of the part improves. Plus, you can enhance the accuracy and efficiency of your production line by printing custom tools on the fly.
  • Customers demand increasing customization and it’s a way for you to differentiate from your competitors. But it’s difficult to customize efficiently. Rize cost and time efficiently enables you to produce one-offs of customized, injection molded-quality end-use products.
  • More and more companies have VPs of Innovation or Chief Innovation Officers who are charged with turning processes and products on their heads in an effort to differentiate themselves and make the kinds of improvements we’ve discussed. While lab machines restrict innovation and require a company to work around its limitations, Rize accommodates your needs. You can run it virtually anywhere, by anyone in the company at any time.

Contact us for more info or to request a quote.