3D printing isn’t merely a new tool for creating and generating products — embracing the technologies may have a large effect on the way in which the business functions, provides value to its clients, and makes a profit.
Today’s article will explore 5 powerful 3D printing-enabled business models, together with their advantages and real-life cases.
1. On-demand manufacturing
Striking a balance between supply and demand is challenging. That is why providers utilize complex algorithms to forecast just how much of the merchandise will be necessary, in a certain time and a particular location, to fulfill an uncertain need.
However, what if you can turn the supply-demand equation on its head? Rather than generating in anticipation of need, what if you can create on-demand, following the client has commitment to purchasing the item?
This is the guarantee of on-demand production.
Now’s on-demand manufacturing business model emphasizes the rate of shipping and the capability to create parts at the point of demand. This is attractive to clients since you get just what you want, just once you want it.
3D printing is among that technology that makes on-demand production a possibility.
This means that when a business would like to create a couple of dozen or perhaps hundreds of components, it’s a lot easier to reach with AM. A business does not need to wait for months to fabricate tools, such as molds for conventional production. It may only create a layout document, send it straight to a 3D printer and also have a component printed inside a few hours or even days.
Spotlight: Spare parts
Imagine a system in which clients, or suppliers, purchase spare parts from a producer’s web page. Within hours, a local 3D printing service agency has downloaded the documents, printed the components, and shipped them to the client. Alternately, the client prints components in their own gear, eliminating transport costs, tariffs, and flaws.
For business, making spare parts quicker means improved machine uptime and fewer manufacturing disruptions. For customers, it means less waiting time for somebody to fix a vehicle or appliance.
To demonstrate the advantages of on-demand 3D printing, American producer, Moog, teamed up with Microsoft, ST Engineering, and Air New Zealand, to get a practical demonstration from the aerospace market.
With this particular project, a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, bound for Los Angeles Airport after leaving from Auckland, performed a proof of concept, centered around the simulator of a busted cottage area.
Upon reaching cruising altitude, the aircrew advised care in Auckland they had to substitute a business Premier bumper component — that sits between chair and track to be sure the seat is not damaged while the display is pushed back into a default place.
The maintenance staff used its accessibility to a digital catalog of components, uploaded by Air New Zealand’s MRO supplier, Singapore-based ST Engineering, also arranged a replacement element.
ST Engineering identified in which the spare area may be 3D published in Los Angeles and delivered straight to the airport.
Employing localized 3D printing enabled the component to be made well before the aircraft landed. Within half an hour of being around the tarmac, the part has been substituted, along with the plane could finish its three scheduled excursions prior to returning to Auckland.
In accordance with Moog, if that yummy component was sourced in a conventional manner, it could have turned into a 44-day lead period plus it might have cost approximately 30,000 US dollars in earnings reduction.
Ironically, not all components will profit from on-demand 3D printing.
According to the current study, most companies can take advantage of a hybrid strategy, in which on-demand spare components 3D printing is united with holding components in stock. In nearly all instances, a component that rarely breaks down easy enough to be published in a couple of hours might be a fantastic candidate for in-built 3D printing.
The study also discovered that by using the hybrid strategy, the normal price savings is approximately 5 percent in contrast to stocking everything, with the highest cost savings reaching around 40 percent.
2. Manufacturing as a service
The digitization of fabricating has caused brand spanking new business models for manufacturers.
One of these is Manufacturing as an Agency (MaaS). This model hinges on a sharing of infrastructure, where gear, and other production capabilities, are networked to enable more efficient manufacturing.
With MaaS, a client can send an order to get a component, and according to workload, substances, labor availability, scale, and location, the system will route the sequence to a specified facility, or group of amenities, to most effectively fulfill the petition.
MaaS is growing ever more popular, fuelled by the growth of digital manufacturing.
3D printing has grown into one of the critical pillars behind the MaaS version. As a digital manufacturing technology, 3D printing permits parts to be generated from an online document, and also the vast majority of its own workflow is data-driven.
This permits workflow digitization, essential for MaaS companies.
Ultimately, 3D printing also allows for greater production flexibility and economical on-demand generation of small batches and one-offs, which is a normal value proposal of MaaS businesses.
Examples of MaaS companies using 3D printing
For Xometry, the firm championing the MaaS version in the united states,’ additive production is king’ as it comes to the number of components produced.
Xometry operates a broad Partner Network of producers, many small and midsize companies. This broadens the advantage for more local needs in addition to ensuring accessibility to the given manufacturing technologies. Along with 3D printing, the Partner Network also has CNC machining, sheet metal manufacturing, and injection molding.
Between 15 percent and 20 percent of 3D-printed components, ordered via the Xometry platform, are end-use components for low-volume manufacturing requirements.
Techniplas Prime service, a subsidiary of US-based automotive production supplier, Techniplas, can also be offering a 3D printing-powered MaaS platform.
Now, Techniplas enjoys collaborative connections using 25 Prime partners, which it pictured as a 3D printing-based-manufacturing platform’ for automakers. Since its launching in 2018, Prime is thought to have assisted Techniplas create over 40 million components.
The examples above show that 3D printing enables MaaS businesses to give access to a larger range of technology. This, then, helps these businesses to enlarge their value proposition and facilitate the transition into digital manufacturing.
3. Supply chain consolidation
Since the production environment gets more uncertain and volatile, companies are trying to decrease the complexity of the supply chains.
The possibility now exists to simplify the distribution chain by utilizing 3D printing to fabricate end-use components in-house.
The advantages of doing so are so enormous that, based on a 2018 Gartner research, 38 percent of supply chain managers have already been using 3D printing, and 47 percent plan to utilize it in another two decades.
3D printing is uniquely capable of producing complex geometries that can’t be manufactured using traditional methods. This capability could be used, for example, to reduce parts in an assembly.
An assembly that would normally require many parts fabricated as separate components and then brought together can be additively manufactured as a single unit, even if the geometry is very complex. This process is also known as part consolidation.
Part consolidation will help to decrease the number of components which have to be secured, thus reducing the distribution chain sophistication.
The low supply chain complexity reduces the chance of supply chain disruption. By way of instance, you can skip the danger your provider can’t provide the component in question. This provider risk is multiplied by the number of components from the meeting. Therefore, if you are in a position to print several components as one unit, utilizing 3D printing, then the odds of encountering this matter significantly reduce.
How Jabil and GE use 3D printing to consolidate their supply chains
1 firm using 3D printing to combine distribution chains is Jabil. By way of instance, Jabil managed to redesign a fan inside a cooling system, initially composed of as many as 73 labor-intensive and time-consuming components, and 3D print it as one component.
In accordance with Jabil, decreasing apart from 73 individual components to 1 part features a gigantic trickle-down effect during its whole supply chain. The part decrease has caused a leaner supply chain to have a more dependable and consistent manufacturing degree.
Another fantastic illustration of part consolidation is GE’s Catalyst Advanced Turboprop motor, which has been reduced by a whopping 855 components to a mere 12.
GE claims this to create these components the normal way, it generally requires 10 to 15 providers. Today, by 3D printing them, the corporation may enhance its distribution chains.
Since Mohammad Ehteshami, the former head of GE Additive, mentioned:’Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of large airplanes flying between cities across the globe and carrying machine parts. You won’t have to do all that. You will only print exactly what you want.
4. Mass customisation
In the present consumer landscape, customers are demanding more customized and personalized experiences.
Basically, the mass customization model involves creating one-off products which are correctly adjusted to the needs or whims of buyers.
3D printing permits businesses to research this business model by giving a more workable solution to creating customized products.
Unlike traditional methods, which might require significant investment in tooling for design components, 3D printing just needs uploading customized digital layouts of a commodity, or its own component, into a 3D printer.
Often, the technology can be utilized to make disposable customized molds, which would normally be price and time-prohibitive with conventional production.
Creating personalised goods with 3D printing
This strategy is frequently utilized to generate jewelry with custom layouts. By way of instance, a jewelry business, American Pearl, provides a jewelry Replicator’ service on its own site, allowing customers not just to pick from a listing of different alloys, but also to customize a bit of jewelry with a private engraving.
According to a selected design, the provider then produces a layout file and 3D prints it into thermoplastic wax.
The client’s selected metal is then poured into this digitally designed mold. When it warms, the shopper diamonds are inserted and set by a specialist jeweler.
The business asserts that the final jewelry is not only going to match the customer’s precise specifications but is also sent in 3 to 4 times. Competitors, who bill more for exactly the identical solution, can take weeks to finish it.
Some footwear businesses also have begun exploring mass customization, allowed by 3D printing. By way of instance, Wiivv’s business model is centered around sandals with custom-fit 3D-printed insoles.
Allowing this can be Wiivv Technology, which maps every foot using over 200 things to make a 3D-printable record of an insole that’s unique to every foot.
Massive manufacturers will also be looking into methods to accommodate and provide customers with much more personalized merchandise. Gillette is one business that has just established a razor blade customization service powered by 3D printing.
Produced in Cooperation with Formlabs, the Support is Named Gillette Razor Maker. It allows customers place their own touches into the razor’s handle by selecting from dozens of layouts, each in a small number of different colors or finishes. Once settled on a style and mind, a razor is going to be generated, using stereolithography printing technology, and sent in a few weeks.
Together with the mass customization fad increasing, 3D printing is poised to become one of the crucial technology helping organizations to capitalize on this trend.
Also read: Top 5 Industries for Start Business In 2021
5. Direct to consumer business model
The Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) approach is quickly becoming a favorite path for manufacturers to enter the industry right — rather than via a middle-man entity.
3D printing can help businesses embracing this model to make products quicker, and often more affordable than with conventional mass-manufacturing practices.
Take, by way of instance, mild maker, Gantry, which gives you a platform for designers to realize their thoughts with its proprietary 3D printing process and provides these layouts right to the client.
In so doing, the business intends to allow designers to skip numerous hurdles so as to receive their ideas to market.
Gantry estimated that conventional production of 1,000 bits of a particular layout, the tooling, combined with substances, technology, logistics, and testing, could rack up $100,000 in prices. That is the reason why the majority of items are created in far larger batches than 1,000 and there is such a massive barrier to entry, for both producers and designers.
‘Traditional production necessitates scale to be effective, whilst 3D printing can fulfill or surpass quality/efficiency aims using the first unit’,” Gantri writes in its own blog.
3D printing opens the chance to forgo this kind of investment and enables designers cooperating with Gantri to bring new designs to market faster, quicker, and more economical.
Reportedly, 3D printing lamps and other lighting decor items help Gantri to decrease the lead time for designers, by a mean of 18 weeks to approximately 3 months and cuts down on costs.
The folks behind Gantry are convinced that 3D printing is the future of this business. By way of instance, the technology could adapt to the changing customer preferences and tendencies without an issue.
From the dental sector, there’s a brand new crop of businesses utilizing 3D printing to fabricate invisible teeth-whitening apparatus, known as clear aligners, which are sent straight to customers.
Together with the likes of SmileDirectClub and Candid, these businesses wish to offer an alternative to the very expensive Invisalign aligners and cut back on expensive visits to orthodontists’ offices.
With no 3D printing, the business model adopted from these dental firms would probably fail, since it might have been nearly impossible to generate individualized clear aligners at large volume with conventional practices.
3D printing powers new business models
3D printing isn’t simply turning into a new manufacturing instrument, but in addition, it enables companies to make new business models which were previously either not possible or not economically viable.
With on-demand manufacturing, 3D printing permits businesses to fulfill the requirement for specific components, without needing to look at the high prices of mass production. This creates the business more nimble.
What’s more, it enables a co-creating procedure between clients and businesses, leading to customized merchandise.
Ultimately, 3D printing unlocks the chance to combine the distribution chain and enables businesses to generate low to mid volumes of components quicker when utilizing MaaS networks.
Contemplating these advantages, companies in several industries will likely adapt their business units in the coming decades to accommodate increased utilization of 3D printing, finally causing more nimble and responsive operations.