5 Methods To Reduce The Costs Of 3D Printing

methods reduce costs 3d printing

If the idea of harnessing 3D printing for your business sounds appealing but you are concerned about the potential costs involved, it might be tempting to hold off until this technology becomes more affordable. 

Thankfully there are a few ways to leverage additive manufacturing right now without paying a steep price for the privilege, so here are just a handful of routes to take.

Outsourcing Is Cost-Effective 

Rather than buying all the kit upfront and using it in-house, you can easily take advantage of online 3D printing services to outsource your requirements to a dedicated third party provider. 

For example, if you’re based in New York, you can leverage local 3D printing in the area. The benefit is that outsourcing will free you from the expenses of procuring, storing and using the hardware. This is also a great way to take the tech for a test drive without making a massive financial commitment; a savvy move for money-conscious start-ups

Design Optimization Is Essential 

3D printing costs can spiral unnecessarily if the designs you create are sub-optimal. Conversely if you are careful and clever during the design process, you could actually make savings. 

The key thing to remember is that you can reduce material usage and waste by minimizing the number of supports required to create a design. Furthermore if you are just creating test parts or prototypes, it may make sense to scale down the design for the early runs until you are more experienced with the software and hardware. 

Material Choice Is Significant 

When operating a 3D printer you not only need to make sure that you buy material that is compatible with the model you are using, but also take steps to avoid over-spending on filaments that are not necessarily ideal for your purposes, even if they will work in theory. 

If the quality of the end result is less important than simply making prototypes as quickly and affordably as possible, choosing the cheaper materials could help you claw back some pennies; just be aware that imperfections will be more commonplace in this context. 

Printer Maintenance Is Important 

A well maintained 3D printer will not only be able to produce great prints every time with as few errors as possible, but will also have a longer operational lifespan, bringing you better value for money over the years. 

Maintenance needs to encompass elements like the extruder nozzle as well as the printing bed, the latter of which can become a real bug bear if it is not properly cleaned and made to offer excellent material adhesion. 

Expert Assistance Is Desirable 

The final thing to bear in mind if you want to avoid overspending on 3D printing is that you are more likely to make mistakes and encounter common cost-based conundrums if you are inexperienced. 

Going on training courses or even hiring team members or consultants who know their way around a 3D printer can help you overcome these early hurdles and start using this manufacturing technology to its full potential.

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