• Omer Blaier

Is 3D Printing Cheaper than Manufacturing?

To 3D print or Not to 3D print? That is the million-dollar question, and

sometimes even the MULTIi-million-dollar question!

Can 3D printing possibly save time and money for manufacturing low volume,

complicated products?

Here is an example of how CASTOR is helping companies answer this

question cheaply, quickly and effectively.

Is there a better way to accelerate time to market with New Product

Introduction in complex machinery?

New Product Engineers are continuously looking for ways to reduce

production cost on large machines that have high complexity and low volume.

Current CNC manufacturing is long and minimum quantities are still huge in

comparison to use up rates. A recent client of CASTORs wanted to explore if

3D printing could solve this issue and if it would be significantly cheaper.

Specifically, they wanted to confirm if 3D printing on demand would provide

acceptable production quality for complex, unique designs, without the high

costs of small quantity batches.

The in-house engineers had vast traditional manufacturing process expertise,

however, lacked additive manufacturing expertise. CASTOR’s decision

support system was an easy, immediate and affordable solution to determine

the exact parts that are suitable for exploring 3D printing viability compared to

traditional manufacturing methods.

How CASTOR Evaluated if 3D Printing is Viable and Cheaper than

Traditional Manufacturing?

· Wall thickness - Is the minimal wall of the part thicker than the limitation of

a 3D printer?

· Material strength - Can the part have the same functionality as if it was

traditionally manufactured?

· Cost per part - Is it cheaper than CNC?

· Lead time - How much time will it take to provide the part and allow the

production line to be its fully efficient?

The engineers received a report that showed the different 3D printing

materials, printing process and part costs. This report also gave immediate

feedback on design issues that would be impacted both positively or

negatively during the 3d printing process, thus giving the production engineers

comprehensive data on whether to proceed with 3D printing exploration or to

remain in the current CNC process.

Example of a report:

This example applies to each one of the components evaluated and provides

both technical analysis and cost saving advice. In addition, CASTOR

recommends a specific printing technology, material, price and a service

bureau that can print it.

In this specific case CASTOR’s report showed both nylon and metal printing

options. Nylon was determined by the Production Engineers to be of an

unacceptable production quality and the Metal printing option was too

expensive compared to Metal CNC manufacturing.

The benefit of CASTOR’s report is that the Production Engineers could

evaluate the opportunity for additive manufacturing, to solve their lead time

and cost issues, without having to actually try it and fail. The solution isn’t

always “YES”. Sometimes, the best answer is, “No. Not this time.”

Summing Up

CASTOR enabled its client production engineers to consider 3D printing as a

legitimate method for parts manufacturing. CASTOR’s proprietary software

identified that there were no parts in this product that had both technical

characteristics in order to be 3D printed, and parts that would be cheaper to

3D print than traditional manufacturing methods.

CASTOR enables its clients to leverage additive manufacturing in their

consideration set, without having to actually print anything.

Ready to evaluate additive manufacturing for one of your projects?

Schedule a Demo Today


CASTOR exists to combine intelligence with 3D printing. We connect

manufacturers to 3D printing capabilities enhancing their business and

providing CASTORs technological expertise. CASTOR’s technology allows

manufacturers to avoid costly spending on limited quantity batches and

reduce lead time.

CASTOR automatically runs analysis to determine 3D printability for end-use

parts design and then chooses the suitable technology for print while

maintaining functionality. In addition, CASTOR can turn multiple parts into one

to maximize manufacturing possibilities for unique designs.

Ready to evaluate additive manufacturing for one of your projects?

Schedule a Demo Today

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