Benefits of Industrial 3D Printing with Tempus 3D
3D Printing for Manufacturing and Design
The use of 3D printing in the manufacturing and design industry has seen an exceptional level of growth over the past several years. This is because of the rapid advancements in 3D printing processes and materials, resulting in the ability to cost-effectively manufacture end-use parts that meet or exceed the quality of parts produced by other manufacturing methods.
3D printing simplifies manufacturing services, allowing for a simple three step approach; design, print, install. In contrast, traditional manufacturing process, such as injection molding or CNC machining, require multiple steps to create a product or part, and are limited in their ability to manufacture parts with complex geometries. Because of these limitations traditional manufacturing processes can be costly, inefficient, and time-consuming, especially for prototyping or short-run manufacturing.
The use of industrial 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) has proven to be an excellent complement to traditional manufacturing, with unique benefits and cost savings being realized by an increasing number of designers and manufacturers in Canada and across the world. The additive manufacturing process of 3D printing allows designers the ability to efficiently deliver an accurate and effective product using a sustainable process that mitigates risks, allows for creativity and freedom in design, and provides an opportunity for truly customizable product manufacturing.
While industrial 3D printing services in Canada are still a small sector of the market, it is becoming increasingly accessible and has proven itself as a viable and effective manufacturing approach. Tempus 3D helps fill the manufacturing gap in Canada with advanced 3D printing technology specifically designed for small-to-medium run manufacturing of end-use parts. Our specialty is HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing which is specifically designed to manufacture affordable, high quality end-use plastic parts.
Keep reading to learn more about how Tempus 3D can support your next affordable, custom 3D manufacturing design project for high-performance plastic parts, using industry-leading 3D print technology such as HP Multi Jet Fusion.
3D Printing Compared to Traditional Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing has many advantages over traditional manufacturing methods, such as injection molding or subtractive manufacturing (such as CNC machining). Both of these manufacturing techniques include numerous steps and can limit the designer or manufacturer in terms of time, speed of manufacturing, design freedom, and/or cost. 3D printing eliminates these steps, leaving only design, printing, post-processing (if needed), and installing.
The additive manufacturing process using 3D printing builds a product one layer at a time. This process typically fast, with low fixed setup costs, and can create more complex geometries than ‘traditional’ technologies, with an ever-expanding list of materials. It is used extensively in the engineering industry, particularly for prototyping and creating lightweight geometries.
Injection molding has specific advantages and disadvantages compared to 3D printing, and manufacturers may choose one over the other depending on their needs. Injection moulding uses a mold that is filled with molten material that cools and hardens to produce parts and components. The initial mold is expensive to produce, and once the mold is made the design can not be changed. The requirement to be able to remove the part from the mold also means that the level of complexity is limited, often requiring multiple parts to be manufactured then assembled in a separate process. Compared to injection molding, 3D printing is best suited for quick turnaround times (1-2 weeks), low-to-mid-volume production runs (1000+ parts), designs with frequent changes, and complex part designs.
They key difference between 3D printing and CNC machining is that 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing, while CNC machining is subtractive. This means CNC machining starts with a block of material (called a blank), and cuts away material to create the finished part. To do this, cutters and spinning tools are used to shape the piece. CNC machining is popular for manufacturing small one-off jobs. It offers excellent repeatability, high accuracy and a wide range of materials and surface finishes. 3D printing is preferable in a number of circumstances, for example to manufacture highly complex parts, when fast turn-around times are needed, for low-volume production of end-use parts, and for materials which can not be easily machined, such as flexible TPU.
The latest advancements in 3D printing technology have made additive manufacturing a viable alternative to traditional manufacturing methods, with significant advantages for many manufacturing applications in terms of speed of production, cost of manufacturing, ability to do rapid design changes, and freedom of design and innovation.
For many years 3D printing has been considered an option best suited for prototype development, but not viable for large scale production, but as technology evolves the capability of 3D printing is continually expanding, positioning 3D printing as an innovative solution for functional prototyping and low-to-mid volume manufacturing of end-use plastic parts.
Single Step Manufacturing Using 3D Printing
When designing a product or a part, one of the biggest concerns for a designer is how to manufacture a part as efficiently as possible. Most parts require a large number of manufacturing steps to be produce by traditional technologies. Single-step manufacturing is important because it means a producer can eliminate the time consuming and expensive multistep processes used in traditional manufacturing. By using a single step additive manufacturing approach, the ability to create a prototype is drastically simplified, minimizing the investment, time, and risk required to prove a concept, part, or product. The single step manufacturing capability will also eliminate the costs associated with various trades required in traditional manufacturing and post-manufacturing assembly.
Tempus 3D provides an alternative to traditional manufacturing by providing 3D printing technology that is specifically designed for the production environment. Our HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer uses powder-bed fusion technology to mass-produce affordable, high quality plastic parts comparable to injection molding, up to 10x faster than alternative 3D printing technologies. Tempus 3D provides and online quoting and ordering platform, where customers can get instant pricing for prototypes, custom parts, and small orders that need a rapid turnaround. Have a large order or special project? Upload your design and request a custom quote.
3D Printing with Multi Jet Fusion Technology
At Tempus 3D we use an HP Multi Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution (MJF) to provide our customers with world-class additive manufacturing capability. This industry leading 3D printer allows Tempus 3D to produce custom parts, prototypes, and industrial-grade and end-use plastic components quickly and affordably.
Developed by our partners at Hewlett Packard, the multi jet fusion printer uses powder-bed fusion 3D printing technology. This process uses an inkjet array to selectively apply fusing and detailing agents across a bed of nylon powder, which are then fused by heating elements into a solid layer. After each layer, powder is distributed on top of the bed and the process repeats until the parts are complete. This process efficiently produces functional parts with accurate and complex details, which can be used straight out of the printer or post-processed to improve appearance or functional qualities.
HP Multi Jet Fusion has gained rapid traction and popularity in the manufacturing sector because it’s unique printing processes offer a combination of better quality, increased productivity, and economic advantages.
10 times faster: MJF technology prints entire surface areas, rather than one point at a time as with comparable technologies such as SLS or FDM. This means that it prints up to 10x faster than these technologies, making it a viable solution for low-to-mid-volume production of end-use parts.
New Levels of Quality, Strength and Durability: Multi Jet Fusion allows for the printing of parts in ultra-thin layers (80 microns). This results in parts with low porosity, high density and, particularly, high resolution and dimensional accuracy. This also creates parts with excellent material properties including chemical resistance, water-and air-tightness, UV resistance, and biocompatibility.
Break-through Economics: HP MJF technology unifies and integrates various steps of the 3D print process to reduce running time, cost, and waste to significantly improve 3D printing economics. One printer is capable of producing over 160,000 cubic cm per day for production environments.
As with all 3D printing technologies, there is a set of recommendations to follow when designing for HP Multi Jet Fusion technology to ensure parts and features are printed to specification, as well as to leverage the full potential of the advanced printing processes.
Reducing Manufacturing Risk with 3D Printing
Part or product manufacturing has historically required a coordinated effort between multiple specialists to ensure that a product is accurately completed. With 3D printing we can eliminate the risks associated with hiring and managing numerous personnel and subject matter experts to design and create a single part. More than that, Tempus 3D can help you to build a proof of concept without the costs and time associated with creating molds and jigs. Our Canadian 3D printing services allow for freedom in design, by permitting designers to print a single prototype at a low cost without substantial overhead and time invested. Creating custom solutions is more practical than ever without having to recreate production tools. Additionally, using jet fusion 3D printing technology, Tempus 3D can ensure your prototype or product is particularly accurate, no matter the complexity of the product. There are numerous case studies that show the diverse benefits of using 3D printing from the prototyping-through-manufacturing process.
The Environmental Benefits of 3D Printing
As a 3D print company collaborating with other manufacturers in Canada and beyond, we have an important opportunity and responsibility towards the environment around us, as well as to the greater community we live in and collaborate with. We're helping move towards a sustainable future with our environmental policies and commitment to long-term sustainability.
Tempus 3D is committed to protecting the environment by developing and implementing sustainable manufacturing approaches. Using jet fusion 3D printing, Tempus 3D is proud to provide our customers with a manufacturing approach that reduces waste, lowers carbon emissions and footprint, and that supports a circular economy. 3D printing reduces manufacturing waste through a paradigm shifting additive manufacturing approach.
In contrast to the traditional subtractive manufacturing approach, this means that while the traditional approach to manufacturing requires beginning with a large piece of material and cutting away materials until you have your desired outcome, 3D printing starts with nothing and adds to the part layer by layer. This new approach results in far less waste reduce environmental impacts and as a bonus, saves money.
Tempus 3D is pleased to help our customers lower their carbon footprint by eliminating convoluted manufacturing assembly lines and supply chains. By localizing our supply chain, we are reducing both the environmental impact and manufacturing risks associated with transportation and complex supply chains. Finally, Tempus 3D is hopeful that new technology will mean consumers will one day be able to print their parts, fix their products, and create longevity in products. 3D printing has the potential to dramatically decrease the number of products ending up in landfills.
At Tempus, we take sustainability even further by investing in equipment that has minimal material waste even compared to other 3D printing technologies, such as the HP Multi Jet Fusion 5200 which has industry-leading material re-usability and have operator training and quality control processes that minimize the chance of parts rejected due to being out of specification.
Design Freedom Using 3D Printing
3D printing frees designers and innovators from the realities and challenges of traditional manufacturing. In the past when a designer was making changes or innovations to a part or product, it would require high material and labour costs as jigs and moulds needed to be made or re-made based on the new specs. With 3D printing designers can efficiently make digital design changes, and with the push of a button, they can create a functional prototype without the creation of production tools. This freedom means that designers and innovators no longer must live in fear of the substantial start-up costs traditionally associated with manufacturing. No longer are designers held hostage by the necessity of welders or machinists to show proof of a concept. The advantages of 3D printing are visible in the early stages of development and custom products, including the ability to rapidly test and re-design prototypes, shorten the time to market for a new product, and save on material and labor costs.
The subtractive manufacturing process places restrictions on designers and requires draft angles, undercuts, and tool accesses. With 3D printing, because a product is developed one layer at a time, these restrictions no longer apply. This means that designers can develop substantially more complex parts, without facing the costs and intricacies required through traditional manufacturing.
Finally, 3D printing is the perfect fit for custom design and production. The current approach to additive design builds parts one at a time, meaning every part can be custom designed. The 3D printing approach provides designers with the freedom to design and produce single run products, that may otherwise be unfeasible because of the costs associated with manufacturing tools and labour.
Applications for 3D Printing
3D printing has been welcomed across sectors including, automotive, aviation, industrial goods, consumer products, healthcare, and education.
The automotive industry has embraced 3D printing for part production, jig-production, and spare parts and tools. In the product development phase, designers are able to cost-effectively go through several iterations before deciding on the final product and manufacture functional prototypes to test in real-world situations. Additionally, an increasing number of OEM’s have been using 3D printing to develop end-use parts in order to increase the performance of the parts, reduce part weight, create more complex part designs, and consolidate multiple parts into a single design. With 3D printing also allows manufacturers to personalize cars to meet customer requirements, or replace parts in older vehicles for which parts are no longer available.
The aviation industry has seen significant cost savings with the adoption of additive manufacturing. By using 3D printing, they can create complex parts with a single design and 3D printing process. By saving materials through design and engineering, you can successfully produce lightweight structures with 40-60 % less weight. Additive manufacturing guarantees maximum flexibility in production planning. Modified components, upgrades and spare parts can be produced on demand, meaning that storage is not necessary.
The industrial goods sector is increasingly turning to 3D printing to stay agile, responsive, and innovative. With increasing production costs and the digitisation of manufacturing, industrial OEMs must constantly evolve to maintain operational agility and keep costs down. With 3D printing, design changes that would have taken months using conventional manufacturing methods can be implemented much faster, oftentimes in under a week. Manufacturers can also reduce the time needed to produce parts, bypassing a time-consuming and costly tooling and assembly steps. Another advantage is that since 3D printing can produce physical parts from digital files in a matter of hours, companies can manufacturing parts on demand and eliminate the need to warehouse pre-manufactured parts.
Consumer products that many use every day are already utilizing 3D printing technology. From sneakers to eyewear and jewelry, 3D printing is quickly shifting the traditional manufacturing approach for consumer goods. Additive manufacturing provides a cost-effective product development, testing and production. For example, during the product development stage 3D printing is used to develop and test multiple iterations and perform repetitive testing in a much shorter time frame. The ability to accelerate product development times also shortens the time-to-market for new products. Perhaps the biggest impact of 3D printing for consumer goods lies in the potential of creating personalised products, tailored to the requirements of consumers.
The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing adopters of additive manufacturing. the adaptability of 3D printing makes it a logical choice. For example, medical device manufacturers have greater freedom in designing new products and can bring their products to market much faster. Patient specific devices such as prosthetics and orthotics can be quickly and affordably produced using a 3D scan of the patient’s body to create a digital template customized to the patient. Dental labs can use scans of the patient’s teeth to create dental products that perfectly match the patient’s anatomy.
3D printing is increasingly being integrated into education. Many elementary schools in Canada have incorporated 3D printing into their technology curriculum. Colleges and universities are integrating additive manufacturing and design into their curriculum to prepare students for a trades and technology sector that is experiencing rapid growth and demand. Tempus 3D is taking a role in supporting education in the additive manufacturing sector with it’s partnership with the Selkirk Technology Access Center.
There are countless applications for 3D printing across sectors, as this technology catalyzes innovation, environmental progress, and custom solutions to complex challenges.
Contact Tempus 3D
Tempus 3D can help you join the manufacturing revolution enabled by industrial 3D printing. Tempus specializes in mass-producing high-quality, affordable prototypes and end-use plastic parts using cutting-edge technology designed for the production environment. With online quoting and a certified production team, we get your parts to you on time and spec. Contact us today to learn more about our custom and on demand 3D printing services near you.