3D printing continues to gain popularity throughout the industrial manufacturing space. From developing prototypes and new tooling to producing custom machine parts and replacement components, additive manufacturing is often quicker and more cost-effective than traditional methods.
Elite Mold & Engineering has worked extensively with customers in the industrial sector throughout the Michigan region and beyond. Producing a wide range of industrial parts and prototypes through injection molding and 3D printing, our company has manufactured everything from simpler industrial connectors and containers to highly specialized machine parts and automation components.
We offer both prototyping services and limited-production run parts. That means we’re uniquely set up to serve industrial customers with new design concepts as well as producing legacy parts for existing programs that require new tooling.
What Is Industrial 3D Printing? A Brief Overview:
In a way, the 3D printing process approaches industrial manufacturing opposite to conventional subtractive manufacturing solutions. As the name suggests, traditional subtractive manufacturing processes produce custom industrial parts by cutting or grinding the designs into larger workpieces. With additive manufacturing, thin deposits of plastic are melted precisely layer by layer, essentially building the product entirely from the ground up.
This difference in manufacturing process is not trivial: 3D printing services open up new design possibilities, facilitate easier customization and iterative design, allow for new (more cost-effective) material options, and ultimately help your final products reach the market faster. Waste is also minimized, making 3D printed prototyping and product development a more sustainable solution in support of Industry 4.0.
How Additive Manufacturing Benefits Modern Industrial Manufacturing:
Rapid Production for Industrial Parts, Legacy Components, Custom Jigs, and Tooling
As with virtually all industries, 3D printing allows industrial customers to quickly create prototypes of new products, being one of the most efficient rapid prototyping solutions on the market. Specific to the industrial sector, additive manufacturing facilitates cost-effective production of highly customized components such as machine parts, jigs, tooling, or unique machine automation setups. 3D printing is also an excellent method for rapidly developing critical replacement parts or legacy components which otherwise may not be readily available in OEM specification.
No Costly Custom Tooling Required
The major advantage of industrial 3D printing compared to conventional prototyping methods is that we don’t have to develop costly, complex tooling to build the products, nor to modify them through iterative design.
With additive manufacturing you can physically evaluate their designs. This is especially beneficial in the case of tooling and specialized machine parts, letting you test the fitment, form, and functionality of the products much quicker and more cost-effectively.
Highly Customizable Components with Complex Designs
3D printing can be utilized for one-off or one-of-a-kind components, such as machine parts and custom automation equipment. Complex and intricate designs that may be cost-prohibitive with traditional manufacturing methods can often be more easily and economically developed through additive manufacturing.
Filling in the Gaps That Appear in the Industrial Supply Chain
Parts that are out of stock, out of production, or otherwise unavailable can essentially be brought back to the market via 3D printing. From specialized connectors to rare machine parts, many providers throughout the industrial sector have fallen victim to supply chain disruptions that make critical products impossible to procure. In other cases, older legacy components may simply have fallen out of production forever. In any case, we can more easily develop your replacement products with 3D printing and seamlessly transition into low-volume production if needed.
Michigan’s Leading Industrial Additive Manufacturing Specialist
Elite Mold & Engineering has delivered quality American contract manufacturing services since 1982. By embracing new state-of-the-art technologies in plastic injection molding and additive manufacturing, we deliver dependable, economical prototyping and low-volume production solutions to the industrial manufacturing sector and beyond.