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Ramp Up Manufacturing Production with 3D Printing

3D printers can make tooling and fixtures that can save time and money when ramping up production lines.

Tony LockwoodSponsored ContentDear DE Reader:

In the final analysis, it's your time and money. Do what you want with them. But study the image we're using to illustrate today's Check it Out offering. Would you prefer to compete by spending up to eight months and $150k ramping up for production? Or would you prefer to start competing within a four-month production ramp-up for $3k? Not much of a poser is it?

Questions of time and money are the whack across the back of your head in the on-demand webcast “How 3D Printing Helps Manufacturers Ramp Up Production.” This new 16-minute broadcast from Markforged runs at a brisk yet digestible pace. It's loaded with time and money details, frequently buttressed with real-world examples.

This chart taken from the on-demand webinar “How 3D Printing Helps Manufacturers Ramp Up Production” depicts one of the many benefits that 3D printing of composite and metal parts can bring to manufacturing production lines. Image courtesy of Markforged Inc. This chart taken from the on-demand webinar “How 3D Printing Helps Manufacturers Ramp Up Production” depicts one of the many benefits that 3D printing of composite and metal parts can bring to manufacturing production lines. Image courtesy of Markforged Inc.

The goal of this broadcast is simple: Where does 3D printing fit into how you prep a manufacturing production line? It begins to answer that question with details concerning the strength and durability of composite reinforced materials and how they compare with metal parts. A handy chart shows you data you'll want to know.

Aside: Markforged also makes metal 3D printers, but the focus here is plastics reinforced with continuous streams of fibers, say carbon or Kevlar, that give parts the wherewithal for manufacturing use. You get a quick peek at how reinforcement patterns function and how you work with them using the company's cloud-based software.

After stepping through the phases of ramping up production lines, the presentation homes in on the woes that come with getting the tooling in order. You know: Unexpected delays, budget overruns, third-party shops doing the cutting, schedules collapsing, etc.

It readily agrees that design iterations will make for better tooling, but hammers the reality that each iteration eats up days or weeks at a time and runs up the number of greenbacks sent to a machine shop. The alternative, 3D printing in house, can get you a new iteration of a part in material that can handle manufacturing line stresses in hours at far less cost.

“How 3D Printing Helps Manufacturers Ramp Up Production” is gutsy stuff. No fluff. Not even that many fancy pictures. Just straight talk. It should grab your attention from start to finish. One bit of advice: Get an envelope to make quick calculations on the back. The webinar doesn't really get into exploring ROI (return on investment) but thoughts about it should leap to your mind. Hit the link and watch.

Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood, Editor at Large, DE

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Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s Editor-at-Large. Contact him via [email protected].

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