What’s Next When your 3D Printer Becomes Inadequate

With all the popularity of 3D printing technology today, many people have taken their personal step in maximizing the benefits of this process by acquiring their own 3D printer. If you are one of them, do you have any idea what to do once you need to do more things aside from what your 3D printer can give you?

At present, 3D printing is very advanced from where it has started. However, this technology is not yet a complete manufacturing with limitless capability: there are still many issues when it comes to 3D printing. These problems pertain to choice of material, size of build, cost of printing, speed of completion and more. Although a 3D printer can definitely make these things, surely there will come a time that you will be required to explore more ways to make it better, just like making components with other manufacturing processes. 

One good example is when a metal component is required. Yes you can 3D print a model of the component and then use the lost-plastic process to cast it in metal. However, your results may not be that accurate for your application. Given that you’re using another manufacturing process anyway, you are already aware that there is very limited access to other ways of making things. 

But what happens next?

If you’re lucky and you’ve got a friend with a workshop, you might have an access to a makerspace. Moreover, if you have that extra budget, you might consider building your own workshop, though not at all cases it is the most effective use of money, especially when you consider that you’ll have to learn potentially several other manufacturing processes to obtain good results. 

Manufacturing organizations usually use 3D printers to produce prototypes but they have very limited functions in making production parts due the material and technical limitations of today's 3D printers. So in order to take these prototypes from a concept to a real product, multiple manufacturing processes beyond 3D printing must be involved. Engaging a fully-equipped manufacturing shop can help at any stage of this process to produce an efficiently manufacturable product.

We all know that making something complex often requires use of several different manufacturing processes, and it could be critical. If you find your making capabilities inadequate for the project you’re working on, you might consider these advices.