We’ve all been there. You have a great idea for a new product but are unsure how to make it. You hire some designers and get them started on the prototype, but they take too long or don’t know how to make it properly. What do you do? This is where 3D printing can help: by creating your prototype in large quantities and ensuring that it’s easy for you to manufacture when the time comes. Read on for a breakdown of how to mass produce your prototypes efficiently.
Work out your design issues before you go to manufacturing
It’s important to note that you can fix design issues before going to manufacturing. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Using 3D printing to test your design on a smaller scale first. You will be able to see how the piece looks and fits together without having to make a full production run, which can save time and money.
- Adjust your CAD model by adding or removing material with digital tools such as Autodesk Fusion 360 (an easy-to-use CAD program). You can then print out this new version for testing purposes again.
Use 3D printing on a large scale
3D printing is a cost-effective and efficient process for manufacturing small quantities of parts. The technology can also produce large quantities, making it quite as economical at that scale.
Large-scale 3D printing has also proven itself useful for producing complex parts that would be difficult or impossible to make via traditional methods because they’re too large or too small for injection molding.
In addition, 3D printing allows for the creation of unique and customized parts that are difficult or impossible to make via other methods.
Think about the time for production and design
Managing expectations is one of the hardest parts of getting a product to market. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably used to working on your own and setting deadlines for yourself. But now that you’re working with manufacturers, they will set their own deadlines and push back on yours if they don’t believe you can hit them.
The best way around this is to plan how much time you think it will take for each stage of production beforehand so that there are no surprises when issues arise. It’s also important not to overcommit yourself; if something goes wrong or takes longer than expected in one area, it could also mean falling behind in other areas.
Consider the benefits of outsourcing some of your manufacturing
If you’re producing a small number of products, outsourcing can be cheaper than producing them in-house. This is especially true if you have low volumes and don’t need to buy expensive machinery or hire employees.
Additionally, outsourced manufacturing using industry-leading solutions like Massivit large 3D printing tends to be more efficient than in-house manufacturing since the manufacturer will know how to best streamline the process for your product.
Finally, outsourcing makes it easier for you to scale up production quickly, if necessary, without spending extra money on machinery or hiring new employees.
Outsourcing also allows companies that aren’t ready yet for mass production flexibility in their development process because they can test different suppliers without worrying about long-term commitments and costs associated with these relationships.
Add more printers to your network
To make the most of your prototyping process, it’s a good idea to increase the number of printers you have on your network. That way, you can print more parts at once and get them back faster. This will help keep turnaround times down and costs down as well. If a printer goes offline or needs maintenance, you’ll still have other machines ready to go so that production doesn’t stop completely.
Increasing printer capacity also makes prototyping more flexible: if one machine is already full with orders, another one can be used while the first one fills up again (or vice versa). In some cases, this might mean having two printers in parallel—one for each type of material needed for an order—which can also save money by reducing waste from leftover parts that aren’t used as often or are only needed occasionally.
Do a test print first
Don’t just rush into production. The first thing you should do is test your print and make sure it works as expected. This will allow you to identify and fix potential design problems before mass producing it.
Test print a small part of the product (or even just one component) to avoid any potential issues arising from printing the entire thing at once. By testing a small portion before going all-in on mass production, you can identify any problems early on, which allows for more time for adjustment or repair, if necessary.
There’s a lot involved with mass manufacturing, but the most important thing is to do your homework and plan ahead. To ensure that your product is well produced, it’s best to consider all these steps early on.