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What are the most common reasons why our clients need 3D printing?

Although the range of applications for 3D printing is very broad, and we regularly receive requests to create completely innovative designs, this is usually not the case. 

Most clients contact us with very similar needs, and we are 100% prepared for them. We know the challenges perfectly, have ready answers, and have a well-designed process tested in hundreds of similar cases. 

In this article, we will describe five situations that most often lead our customers to our phone numbers and e-mail boxes. 

1. “We got a quote for an injection mold and nearly fell off our chair.”

Injection is still the most frequently used technology for producing plastic parts on a large scale. Provides maximum precision and low cost for large volumes. 

However, the situation is completely different when we do not need a large number of parts. The initial cost of making an injection mold can exceed a hundred thousand dollars, not to mention a waiting time of up to several months. 

Many companies do not have large enough needs to make such an investment justified, at least not at the early stage of product development. However, they care about the quality and precision of parts, which injection technology ensures. These may be, for example, housings for professional devices or parts of such devices. 

The answer to this challenge is 3D printing, which uses the advanced HP Multi Jet Fusion technology to ensure quality similar to injection molding. Most importantly, there are no initial costs as there is no need to create a mold. Apart from the printer and material, all that is needed to produce the part is a 3D project. 

Therefore, 3D printing becomes an ideal alternative, often acting as a temporary solution. After the success of the first series of devices made with the support of 3D printing, companies often decide to invest in an injection mold. With more funds and proof of concept, such an investment becomes much easier to make. 

An example of a project that required high-quality parts but a short run is the QuinSpin 

device for professional baristas.

2. “We do not want to invest in an injection mold because our product will evolve.”

In some cases, the issue of cost is not as important as the interactive process and awareness of the constant development of the project. Unfortunately, in these situations injection molding is not a viable solution because it does not allow for free modifications between batches. 

There is no such problem in 3D printing. Each series can be completely different from the previous one, and it has almost no impact on the cost of implementation (as long as the dimensions remain similar). 

Our client, Cortivision, was in the exact same situation. Their device for examining brain activity required very high precision, and the project itself was still being developed. From the beginning, the project’s creators assumed the use of injection technology at a later stage, but they were aware that the project would still require many changes. So they chose our 3D printing service, which perfectly met their needs. 

3. “We would like to release a batch before ordering an injection mold to test our product.” 

The third situation is also related to the above challenges. Testing the product by real users is supposed to give companies valuable feedback, better understand their needs, and gauge interest in the product and its commercial potential. 

What exactly can such tests provide?

  • Quality control and identification of weaknesses: The first, short series allows for thorough testing of devices in various conditions and situations by real users. Such tests often reveal design or manufacturing defects that cannot be found in prototype tests. 
  • Demand assessment: Who, if not customers, is to assess whether there is a real demand for a product? The success of the prototype series is a clear green light to open wide production. 
  • Financial risk reduction: Although we wish this for every company, success is not a certainty, and small-scale production allows you to avoid a costly mistake. In case of failure, the financial losses are much smaller.
  • Design improvement: Purchasing an injection mold only makes sense when the project is final, so a short series test is usually the last chance to make improvements before the project goes into mass production.
  • Logistics and distribution planning: selling the first, short series may draw attention to problems related to shipping, distribution, and even packaging and storage of the product. This is therefore the perfect time to identify potential problems and eliminate them before scaling up.

4. “We want to sell products tailored to the individual needs of each customer.”

The best example of such a situation is our cooperation with Proteo, which creates prostheses perfectly suited to the silhouettes of the customers. High precision of workmanship is crucial in such situations, but due to the uniqueness of each project, the company cannot use any form-based technology. 

3D printing is therefore the best and definitely the most profitable solution. You can read more about the history of Proteo in our case study

5. “We need parts right now. We want to release the product as quickly as possible or we are pressed for time with the investor.”

The order processing time is a blocker that is rarely fixable The company has such and such deadlines and that’s it. In the case of an injection mold, this time can be up to months. So when customers come to us and find out that the standard delivery time is 5 days, and in exceptional cases it is possible to receive the order in 3 days, they are quite shocked. 

Such a short turnaround time not only allows you to save the skin in exceptional situations but also improves processes from start to finish. In many cases, companies cooperating with us choose 3D printing wherever possible because they know that the parts will be delivered to them in a short time and the entire project will be able to develop faster. 

How can 3D printing improve processes in your company?

Regardless of the reason why you are interested in 3D printing, our designers and MJF technology experts will help you answer every question and determine what benefits your company can achieve thanks to our service.

Make an appointment for a free consultation or ask for quick project valuation

Maciek Stefańczyk

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