“Software, tav and 3D printing”
How a statement could make a famous minister fall off his seat in shame
3D printing has become a fashionable subject filling newspapers including those with a poor circulation, with scandalous and exciting news:
A house printed in 24 hours.
A life saved by a heart printed in 3D.
And blah, blah, blah…
How much of the news that you read is true and how much is blown out of proportion, like the biceps of a bodybuilder, in order to sell more copies?
Unfortunately not only magazines exploit 3D printing to gain importance but also politicians who, perhaps to appear more knowledgeable, trot out 3D printing, actually spreading falsehoods.
During the television programme Omnibus, Luigi Di Maio spoke against TAV (High Speed Train) claiming that it is no longer necessary since:
“The Turin/Lyon High Speed Train Project was started 30 years ago when goods were transported in quantity flows, today those goods are transported by software and by 3D printers.”
Luigi Di Maio
Even if it seems that everything is already being printed in 3D, as politicians, the press and con artists want to make you believe, be aware that it is not at all like that.
As an entrepreneur of a mechanics company, you look around you and wonder if you are the last person to use traditional methods, and if you are doing the right or wrong thing, since it looks as if every company, private citizens included, can print any object using additional systems just like an Aladdin’s lamp.
I have news for you…
Not every company in the world is exploiting 3D printing, because:
3D printing is not suitable for all types of production
I don’t know what Di Maio was referring to when he claimed that components in 3D will travel with different quantity flows.
Perhaps he meant teleportation?
Or a Delorean flying car?
Even components printed in 3D have to be taken from point A to a point B, exactly like components printed with traditional methods. Whether you are for or against TAV (High Speed Train), if you print in 3D and have to send the components to a customer there are no existing futuristic means of transport send your components.
What is important for you as an entrepreneur is to understand the truth hidden behind the news on 3D printing, before making risky investments using additive systems in your production chain only to find out that they are not suitable for you.
You are about to discover the minimum requirements which a 3D printer must have to adapt to your production, speed it up reducing production costs, and make you an entrepreneur with pockets overflowing with gold.
Before revealing the points which will save you from buying a money-eating 3D printer, I will answer the question which has been buzzing around in your head since the beginning of this article:
Which types of production are definitely not suitable for 3D printing and are better off continuing with traditional methods?
And is your company one of those dinosaurs forced to stay in the Stone Age because it is economically more convenient?
- If you produce large quantity lots, that is more than 500 components of a large size, then traditional methods are still the best choice if you don’t want to empty your company coffers or take months to finish an order.
In concrete terms do not use 3D printing if you produce: automatic turning machines in large quantities and rotating shafts.
- If you produce standard components, that is components which are all the same: continue using traditional methods.
- If you produce for third parties and you customer sends you the component design specifying the use of traditional methods.
I have written an entire article on this point which will enlighten you and blow up other myths or limitations which you think you are forced to follow as a third party supplier.
Here, instead, is when your production can use 3D printing with success
1)If you produce complex components with internal systems or with intersected components (cooling pipe), or components with impossible geometrics, non-linear or disconnected trajectories, or components with internal cavities; 3D printing will save your company from wasting resources, time, money and raw material.
With additive systems you won’t waste time with chip removal in post production, or merging one piece with another as in a mosaic, because with 3D printing you only need one single production step to have a complete and already assembled component.
If you wish to deepen your knowledge on this point you can read this article.
The time you save can be exploited to increase your production, earn faster, or you can spend the extra time to help expand your company and time for yourself: your tennis, trips with your wife and football matches with your kids.
2)if you need special components, all different from each other, and you are always forced to make modifications to the design starting from scratch each time, then producing in 3D will lighten your workload, shorten production time and reduce resource waste.
There won’t be a machine operator mediating with your designer and you will eliminate all production steps which will be reduced to one single printing cycle.
Jewellery and shoe companies are exploiting additive systems to customize their products and meet the increasingly difficult demands of customers.
Shapeways is the most popular e-commerce in the field of 3D jewellery; in an over-saturated market the winning strategy of many companies is to customize, that is satisfy even the smallest whim of the customer, making him the creator of his own product.
That is why the most demanding women with difficult tastes prefer to choose the size and shape of their jewellery and have it printed in 3D.
For a company still in the Stone Age, that is a company still using only traditional methods, to produce each component with different shapes and features is money consuming, and a tough grind, while with a 3D printer it is really easy and fast.
You could use a 3D printer simply to beat your old-fashioned competitors; but first make sure that when buying your winning weapon all the requisites I will speak about below are present.
Now that you have seen in broad terms, if your production could be suitable for 3D printing, now or in the future:
here are the minimum requirements which will guide you in the purchase of a 3D printer for metals, avoiding risky loss of capital
Warren Buffet, the expert to call when talking about investments, says that:
“The investment must be well-reasoned. If you don’t understand it don’t do it.”
How can the investment in a 3D printer become well-reasoned?
With numbers, data and scientific tests carried out on your components.
When you invest in the stock exchange you cannot predict the market and you have to trust the data given by companies, keep you eyes glued to the graphs, analyse them quickly and understand when the going is rough. When buying a 3D printer for metals you cannot just hope for the best because the time and money lost would be a disaster for your company.
Buying a 3D printer for metals without having first obtained data from tests carried out on your components is like sitting in front of a slot machine putting your hopes in Lady Luck.
Do not take risks!
The handbook you need before buying a 3D printer for metal is divided in two parts: the first questions will help you understand if your production is suited to the use of 3D printing for metals or not.
The second part will help you understand which 3D printer for metals to choose, so that your investment will be advantageous in Warren Buffet terms.
The first questions which you must be able to answer before stepping into the dark forest of additive systems are:
1)Do I produce small lots? Or components of a small size?
2)Do I need to produce special components which are customized needing continuous design modifications which make me lose time?
3)Is my production internal? Do I produce for third parties and am I sure that whoever is ordering the components will not force me to use only traditional methods?
If you answer yes to even one of the questions above, then you know that a 3D printer for metals could make you earn more and faster reducing production costs.
What you need to know now is which 3D printer for metals on the market will keep that promise.
Discover the second part of the handbook to ensure that your investment will be profitable:
1)Be able to test the printer on YOUR components. Do not be fooled by salesmen who show you sample pre-printed components because they are NOT YOUR components, so seeing them is useless and tells you nothing about the investment you are about to make;
2)Have in hand a document with the results of the tests carried out on your components;
3)In this precious document you should see the following data:
- How much time does the 3D printer take to produce YOUR components? Does it take less time compared to the traditional methods you are currently using?
If it is a good investment the answer should be yes.
How much is it going to cost on an economic and financial level to print your components in 3D? Does it cost less compared to subtractive systems?
Let’s be honest: a real investment must be truly worthwhile, both on an economic, financial level, as well as in production terms; otherwise what are we talking about?
We have gone from talking about the TAV (high speed train) and additive systems as if they were science-fiction with mystical powers, to the reality and concreteness of your company, whether big, medium or small.
If you own a multinational and you buy a 3D printer blind, then perhaps you can afford to throw away money.
If however you own a medium or small sized company, every cent counts in order to expand, prosper and during the worst crisis, survive.
It is precisely to meet the needs of medium and small sized companies that I have decided to create the only system in the WORLD, 3D4YOU which allows you to:
try the first 3D printer specialized in steel, having in hand a precious document with economic, financial and production times data which will stop you from throwing away money
Not only… you will have customized technical assistance for your needs and you can have access to a specialized training course to learn how to use the 3D printer, without having to spend money to buy it.
You will not risk even a cent,
but with the Zero Risk Guarantee, you will have all your money back, if for any reason whatever, the 3D4YOU system does not satisfy you
You can wait years before buying a 3D printer, but you cannot:
1)let yourself be buried by more progressive competitors who have speeded up their production, customized their products and invested the money saved to expand and devour you;
2)invest in a 3D printer without having carried out tests on your components, just because you are in a hurry and feel left behind, and your Stone Age company can no longer sustain the speed of your rivals and their competitive prices;
3)stay sitting on the fence of indecision, because you are afraid of taking risks and losing time and money;
You won’t lose money thanks to the Zero Risk Guarantee.
You won’t lose time because my team will take up only an hour of your day; we will think about everything else.
4)wait to take the only opportunity in the WORLD to test a 3D printer practically free, without buying one and having a document which will give you a competitive advantage over all other rivals, who are dying to have the same information for their own company;
You cannot wait because 3D4YOU is a customized course, it requires a total and detailed assistance and for this reason I can only assist 4 companies a month.
If you are interested in knowing more about 3D4YOU, without obligation, click here and watch the short informational video.
P.S: read the article in Tom’s Hardware to find out more about 3D4STEEL and the first 3D printer specialized for steel called the Blue Bear.