Well, it is definitely not…
For companies, it is hard to master every aspect of a new technology such as 3D printing. Enormous investments in time, employee expertise and capital expenditures are part of it. The fast-developing field of additive manufacturing makes it even harder to stay on track with all new materials, printers or methodologies.
On top of that, there are still areas in additive manufacturing that leave some question marks behind. Post processing or feedstock quality are two of them, putting additional challenges to companies building up a validated production. Furthermore, there is no single printing rule that applies to every product requirement. Through a lot of evaluation cycles and printing tests, it’s possible to gain experience and avoid some common mistakes. However, 3D printing is always good for a surprise 😉.
For many companies starting with additive manufacturing, the initial challenge is to know where to find appropriate expertise in that complex field. Companies which want to evaluate what equipment is best or what technology to use need to consider different opportunities. In addition, it is not easy to find 3D printing experts knowing a specific industry and its challenges.
To be a step ahead in additive manufacturing, we may recommend the following points.
partner up with companies that provide you with valuable know-how and not just tips and tricks you can read in every whitepaper and still don't know how to do it.
simplify your supply chain if you need small production batches for rapid prototyping, spare parts, tooling, jigs and fixtures.
consider outsourcing aspects of your supply chain for you to be able to concentrate on your core competences.
Especially in additive manufacturing, we do believe that asking for advice is a strength, as it will help you to solve problems and absorb new knowledge to better address future manufacturing challenges. Being open to more experienced companies that have solved and overcome same challenges by doing initial mistakes will bring your product faster to your clients.
As experts for additive manufacturing in the medical device industry, we de-risk your project, reduce your costs and accelerate your time to market. Our activities are based on the LB-PBF process using titanium, cobalt-chrome and stainless steel. We do provide our know-how across the entire additive manufacturing supply chain for medical applications.
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