The Advantage of 3D Printing for Batch Production
3DPRINTUK manufacture parts using the most advanced SLS and MJF 3D printing systems in the UK
“55-75% cheaper to produce parts compared
with CNC milling”
No Tooling Costs! — Easy Design Modifications — Batch Production On-demand
Advantages of 3D Printing for Batch Production Runs
1. No Set Up Fee
We don’t charge set up fees for your production runs – this means that you can order as many or as few as you want and not have to worry about breaking even on the set up costs or mould costs like you do with traditional manufacturing. This makes 3D printing a viable alternative to injection moulding and other more traditional methods of manufacturing.
2. Fast Lead Times
Due to the elimination of tooling, you don’t have to wait weeks or months for the mould tools to be designed – simply place your order and we’ll put it in the queue. Our current record is producing 6,500 parts in 24 hours.
3. Prototype and Final Model will be Identical
If you choose to prototype your model with us you’ll be using exactly the same machines as you would with your production run, so your prototype would be exactly the same as your final model.
4. Free Polishing
At 3DPRINTUK we offer a totally free of charge polishing service. This smooths the outer surface and can produce a near injection mould quality finish.
5. Optional Finishing Processes
We also offer a range of finishes at a modest additional cost. This includes automated shot peening and a wide range of block colour choices (Black, red, yellow, green and blue).
Parts that are best suited for 3D Printed Batch Production
1. Very Small Parts
We specialise in really little parts as we can get these printed much faster than larger models. We place them in and around other parts in whatever builds we have on at the time, meaning you get your orders as soon as possible.
2. Clips, Mounts & Fastenings
The Nylon material that we use is strong, so a great choice for your small fastenings and fixtures. Very often when producing a product in low volume it is difficult to justify spending tens of thousands on tooling for these type of items – you may find that 3D printing will be the ideal solution in terms of lead times and cost effectiveness.
3. Personalised Items
Again, due to the lack of tooling, there are no setup costs – this means that you can make unique items for the same price as identical ones. This can be great for small corporate gifts and such like.
Get in touch for a quote!
If you feel we may be able to help with your project then please feel free to contact us for a quote. Our new Manual Upload takes the price breaks into consideration and is the fastest way to get a quote for your project.
*Please note, we only offer production runs in PA2200 Nylon on our Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machines.
What to send us:
- If you have an STL file ready to send we can give you a very accurate quote as well as accurate lead times and usually within 30 minutes during business hours.
- If you do not have a file ready you are welcome to send through any images or drawings of the parts you need and our design team can take a look. They can create a new design or even replicate an existing one, often within a week ready for print.
- Let us know the quantities of parts you’re looking to manufacture.
Services We Offer:
Industrial 3D printing is our bread and butter, specifically with the powder bed fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing process and polymer materials. We have a range of advanced systems installed in-house, including many Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machines, and the most advanced 5210 series Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) machine. As a result we’re able to handle large volumes of parts on a daily basis, especially if the parts are small, with our record production time being 6,500 parts in 24 hours. We offer two different lead time options but while we understand lead times are important, we never compromise on the quality of the parts that we produce.
Post Processing & Finishing Options
All of our parts are post processed which includes de-powdering and cleaning. However, we also offer an expanded range of optional finishing options. 3DPRINTUK has invested considerably in automated equipment to add colour to our natural white parts. This includes best black parts possible as well as new options for vibrant red, blue, green and yellow parts. The colouring process produces a solid colour that does not add thickness to the part and is more durable than a painted finish.
We also offer a free polishing service for all orders no matter what the quantity. The vibro-polishing process smooths the surfaces of parts and cleans off any residual powder. The result is a near injection molded feel for what may be a fraction of the cost. The difference in finish between an unpolished and polished part is comparable to the difference between an ‘extra strong mint’ and a ‘softmint’.
For an additional cost (5%) we can provide an even more superior finish for black and coloured parts via our automated shot peening service.
Disadvantages Of 3D Printing For Batch Production Runs
No Economies Of Scale – As there is no tooling, you don’t get economies of scale as volumes increase. This means that the unit cost will remain relatively similar regardless of quantity. However, get in contact with us to see what can be done for your exact quantity.
Large Prints Are Not Viable – When producing larger 3D prints, they can be expensive, and due to a lack of economy of scale there is not much saving with larger orders. With our pricing structure you may be able to get around this if you can ‘flat pack’ your model, but this is not always possible.
Layers – 3D printing involves making parts layer by layer. On our high end industrial grade machines surface layer lines are not as visible as they are on desktop 3D printers, but they do exist and it is difficult to get away from that. Using our free polishing service will greatly reduce the effect if you choose to use it.