Traditionally, 3D Prints are created on an individual basis due to the complexity, detail, and specifications for the part’s design. However, new technology has been introduced that makes it possible for engineers to mass produce small parts faster than they ever have before.
Additive Manufacturing mass production often applies to a part of a final product. For example, Adidas utilized 3D printed midsoles for a line of Future Craft 4D shoes. This design was used in 100,000 pairs of shoes, and offers comfort and flexibility with a lattice structure. In addition, it reduced the total weight of the shoe, and offered better cushioning and stability for the athletes.
Orthodontic solutions are a great application for mass production in the 3D Printing industry. As these pieces need to be personalized to the anatomy of the patient, the settings for the material, generalized design, and other printing configurations remain consistent. The 3D Systems SLA machine is even capable of producing a mold of the tray to be thermoformed before it’s used by the patient to save production time and resources. The result is a perfect combination of personalization and mass production through 3D printing. For example, an American orthodonture company is producing 320,000 pieces per day.
The Future of 3D Printing in Mass Production
3D Printing is unique in the fact that it’s capable of creating highly accurate, specific, and personalized parts for a wide range of applications. In the future, we expect to see this technology to grow to the point where these parts will be produced faster, and in larger numbers without sacrificing the quality and strength that pull engineers to the production method in the first place. By keeping a careful balance, the Miller 3D team will continue to support production lines across all applicable industries, including contract manufacturing companies to print the best parts, in any quantity possible.