3D printed parts are not always “normal” series parts. The technology prevails over conventional processes with other advantages. On the one hand, through the speed of prototyping or in spare parts delivery. But with spare parts, just as with mass customisation or the production of tools, it is also the financial advantage in small series that makes Additive Manufacturing superior.
When it comes to the motivation for printing a specific part instead of conventionally producing it, there are different drivers. In the most cases today, it’s because of the reduced lead time, clear reduction of weight or costs or the geometrical benefits which could be achieved through printing and for example improve the part performance.
What did your company do for achieving the advantages in the product (e.g. the reduction of weight or costs)?
Of course the outcomes should be matching with the drivers. But we recognised, that in many Use Cases there are even more positive effects through printing, which were “for free”. For example a spare part, which was ordered 3D printed because of the better price in small series (Driver). But when designing it, it was also improved in terms of durability, so it will brake less often.
Were there any enablers that were important to implement the project in this way? Was there a strong partner who helped with their knowledge or were there trainings that led to a change of mindset among the staff?