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Will 3D Printing Subvert Prototyping Technology?

- Jun 04, 2018 -

The current 3D printer demo will print a variety of hollow objects to reflect its performance, because this is the 3D printer is good at, but also the only possible 3D printer in the process of cost competitiveness - small materials and complex structure part. In addition to the lock case above, it can also be supplemented with items that require special materials.

Take the example of a 3D printing service provider that prints the above-mentioned locks, they have six industrial-grade 3D printers, and the price is in the order of one million yuan, which is mainly the Israel Objet brand. All of their printing materials need to be imported, and the printing of custom materials even requires the printer manufacturer's technical support engineers to debug equipment, adhesives, and so on. Can imagine the price of such services.

And what are their alternatives? At present, there are four or five kinds of mature rapid prototyping technologies on the market. There is also an extreme solution to the complex structure of the product. A quick die is made of aluminum alloy on the CNC machine. This quick die can only be used to make several samples, and then the die is scrapped.

It is difficult to define where these technologies compare to the critical cost of 3D printing. A design company showed me a tablet computer's body frame, a box of less than 7 inches, and some structures inside. "The cost of this thing's handboard is similar to that of a 3D printing and a traditional hand board... but in the end it's still Traditional hand board used."

The basic principle of supply and demand in the market economy makes 3D printing even in the highly-educated design industry, it is only a special process means, it will not subvert any domestic industry in the foreseeable future.

The underlying reason is that the cost of deploying and implementing 3D printing is too high. Even if there are already professional 3D printing service providers, the number of them cannot be compared with the full-scale rapid die-shopping workshop. The traditional template technology is mature and the technical personnel are adequate. People who do more are naturally cheaper. The cruel reality is that even if it is a toy-made domestic desktop 3D printer, the cost of printing a rough, small part with an ABS wire is still more expensive than finding a professional processing plant to be exactly the same.

If you have any interest of prototyping, come to us for help.

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