Do anything, anywhere with 3D printing
“Our vision for the future is the idea that anyone can do anything,” said Joshua Niman, Sales Engineering Manager at Formlabs. Speaking in the Virtual engineering days Presentation, “Anywhere Manufacturing: Overcoming Barriers to Product Using Additive Manufacturing,” Niman said this is where he sees additive manufacturing changing the world and impacting the industry. “We feel like we’ve really elevated desktop 3D printing to the point where it’s a serious technology that can be extended and applied to production applications for real end-use parts.
“Everyone has had a supply chain problem over the past year, it seems,” he added. “And so, a lot of the conversation right now is, how do you bring manufacturing home? It’s great to want to improve and change your processes when things are stable. But when there are external factors causing shortages or changes in the way you do things, especially when certain places are blocked from you, 3D printing takes on a whole new meaning. [and] becomes something that has a different level of importance in your business, ”he continued.
Removing these barriers will give you control of your supply chain, Niman said. “You are in control of your processes; you have control over the parts and component supplies you need to deliver an effective product.
Niman commented that a company can have a perfect workforce and a factory in place, but will run into problems if they can’t ship things there. He said he’s heard companies say they need to stay on schedule, get things done at a steady pace, and sometimes vendors just can’t keep up. “So those are all reasons I hear people tell me all the time why they want to talk to Formlabs, why they care about 3D printing, why they think it’s something compelling, and especially why they want to bring it. -house, ”he explained.
Formlabs printers can take up as little as six or seven feet of floor space and only need a 120-volt outlet, with a dedicated 20-amp circuit. And labor isn’t a major concern, he said, as the printer does a lot of the work on their own.
Niman said the advantage of having a Formlabs printer on-site is that companies can produce without going through an external supplier or machine shop, and therefore have the option of producing parts only. “But it also gives them a lot of security that their manufacturing plant will not experience any downtime,” he said. “If something breaks, if they need a spare part, it all comes down to the idea of controlling your supply chain, but also controlling your facility. You take back some of that control by having a really nimble manufacturing tool like this.
He pointed out that while there may be a perception that 3D printed parts are weak or of poor quality, or that they are generally unusable for real things, they really remain end products.
Businesses can start with a single Formlabs printer and then scale as needs grow, Niman said. “This type of solution, where you get the power of a large manufacturing facility in the footprint of something much smaller, is something we’re really excited to explore with more and more users.” , Niman concluded. “All over the world, making anything anywhere is really something that is going to propel us and our users forward and ready to take on any challenge as we continue to move into this. kind of that uncertain period for manufacturing. “