If you ever find yourself browsing Amazon’s 3-D printing store, you may come across jewelry for the fashion forward, a variety of games and computer accessories and even the ability to create a 3-D printed Bobblehead in your likeness. Or if you decide instead to search for the most innovative 3-D printing projects via your favorite search engine, you are certain to come across some impressive and awe-inspiring uses for this technology – from creating body parts, to printing food, to printing fully functional cars. While we cannot deny the “cool” factor of such projects, they do not necessarily capture the true potential of 3-D printing for today’s manufacturers.
At TEQ we see tremendous value in using 3-D printing technology to produce low-cost objects for more “down-to-earth” purposes such as:
In fact, we see so much potential in this technology that we recently purchased a 3-D printer system that utilizes the fused disposition modeling (FDM) process for rapid prototype production. With this system we can go from a concept on the computer screen to a physical representation of a part in just a few hours (vs. a few days) – giving us the flexibility to create one-off representations of trays for customer review and product fit testing, as well as create machine-ready prototype molds that we can make a small number of parts from.
What about you? How does your business or industry use the potential of 3-D printing?