Are you considering adding 3D printing to your marketing strategy? Like most clients, you may be wondering where to find a 3D printing service near you and where to start. We have the answers to these questions and so much more! The advantages of 3D printing are endless, so if you have an idea in mind, we can turn it into a 3D masterpiece. The entertainment industry uses 3D printing regularly, and you’ve likely seen it featured in your favorite movie recently. We’ll explain what 3D printing is and why you should consider it to promote your business.
How Does 3D Printing Work
A 3D printer can print virtually anything, including complex and detailed shapes and structures. The printing process is completed in very thin, fine layers to build an object from the bottom to the top. A layer can be as thin as .05 millimeters, but the usual layer is about .2 millimeters. The thinner the layer, the longer the printing process will take. This methodology allows a 3D printer to quickly create an object with edges, gaps, or curves. Some recent 3D printing examples include action figures and characters, houses, heart valves, pet food dispensers, movie props, and more.
As the advantages of 3D printing become more popular, the uses for this technology will continue to grow at a fast pace! It is currently used extensively in many industries like automotive, medical, aerospace, home improvement, art, and design, to name a few. Although these advantages can be endless, 3D printing capabilities do have their limitations. Some of them include:
- Speed – Although the possibilities of 3D printing are endless and highly beneficial, it is a challenge to scale such items due to manufacturing speed. Many items that would be difficult to manufacture traditionally are great candidates for 3D printing, but the process would be too slow to see any benefits. There are 3D printers available that are extremely fast but not enough to eliminate scaling challenges.
- Overwhelming – The 3D printing process can be complicated and overwhelming for new beginners learning the system. Before 3D printing can become commonplace, learning a few simple steps can help you make a commercially successful product. While some 3D printers are made as plug-and-play devices, the learning curve for designing your own prints can be too complex for a novice.
- Applications – Although accurate 3D scanner applications exist, they are costly. As technology advances, smartphones can act as 3D scanners that help eliminate creating complex designs.
- Misconceptions – The advantages of 3D printing can be numerous, but there are misconceptions about what they are capable of. Objects can not be printed that are outside of the scope of materials being used. An example of this includes automotive parts like wiring, motors, or electronic parts. A 3D printer can make the components attachable to parts like mounts, connectors, or holders. Other objects that are very popular include prosthetics, hearing aids, and cosplay accessories.
How Long Does 3D Printing Take
Depending on the project’s scope, 3D printers can take 30 minutes to several days to complete a task. The more complex the project, the longer it will take to finish. Other factors involved in 3D printing timelines include:
- Type of printer – Like any manufacturing machine, some 3D printers are faster than others. It’s important to remember that the faster the printer is, the more expensive it will be. Most of the more advanced printers are too costly for most consumers.
- Types of materials – What material does a 3D printer use? The materials may vary from paper to plastic. Many materials are easier and faster to use in a 3D printer than others. Challenging materials will require different extrusion methods and bed temperatures that will affect the speed of the printer.
- Size – The size of the object can have a significant impact on the printing process. More layers will require more time and more passes.
- Height – Since objects are built by layers, taller objects will take longer to complete.
- Type of printing – There are two different methods of 3D printing that include paint roller and paintbrush. Paint roller 3D printing takes longer to finish.
- Quantity – When copies of an object are 3D printed, the print time is reduced since no setup is needed after the first copy is printed.
- Post-processing – This refers to cleaning, rinsing, and drying printed components and every 3D printer has its own unique process. The time of completion depends on the complexity and size of the project.
What are the Advantages of 3D Printing
Using a 3D printing service near you has its advantages. Rather than worry about learning new technology and understanding design methods, a commercial printer can take your project to new heights. Here’s why you should use a commercial 3D printer:
- Cost – For prototyping and smaller production projects, 3D printing is more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing methods that use more labor and expensive machines. A 3D printer typically only requires one operator.
- Speed – One of the most favored advantages of 3D printing is rapid prototyping. Modifications and testing can be done in-house quickly while maintaining timelines and budgets.
- Flexibility – Most 3D printers can print anything. While traditional manufacturing requires new tools, molds, and dies when the design is modified, 3D printers do not require such costly and time-consuming additional adjustments. Last-minute changes can be made without any interruption to the printing process.
- Quality – A 3D printer can ensure quality design due to its step-by-step assembly process.
- Consistency – The quality of the objects printed will be maintained since errors can be caught and monitored in real-time.
The Best 3D Printing Service Near You
How does 3D printing work with us? As award-winning leaders in the signage industry, we take pride in the fact that we manufacture and engineer high-quality 3D print projects in North America. We’ve fulfilled 3D printing needs across a broad spectrum of businesses, including theme parks, movie props, trade show booths, product launches, events, museum exhibits, corporate offices, and many more. For your 3D printed project, some questions you’ll want to ask are:
- How does 3D printing work?
- What material does a 3D printer use?
- How long does 3D printing take?
We’ll be more than happy to answer these questions and any others you may have about your project. For over 30 years, we’ve developed stunning and innovative 3D printed objects that wow and engage customers and clients alike. Our in-house creative team can take any concept you may have from a small idea to life with project management and installation included. We are here to support your vision.
Some of our most notable projects include:
- IT: Chapter 2 – We created the Paul Bunyan statue featured in the background in the Stephen King-inspired movie.
- Circle K – Taking bus advertising to another level, we created the Circle K 3D topper featuring the likeness of the top of a six-pack of beer.
- Fallsview Casino and Resort – For the ultimate outdoor display advertising experience, we created an innovative billboard using 3D printed objects similar to magnets on a refrigerator.
If these ideas intrigue you, let’s discuss how we can make your ideas come to life. Give us a call today for a quote to get started!