Traditional manufacturing refers to the practice of molding, carving, and machining to create a product, regardless of the volume. Some common practices in traditional manufacturing are injection molding, CNC machining, and casting. A production line historically leverages a mold that is used to make high volumes of a singular product, an efficient and cost-effective practice that allows businesses to mass-produce in company warehouses.
Additive manufacturing refers to the practice of industrial 3D printing, where instead of carving, molding, or casting to make a product, you are building it layer by layer inside a 3D printing build chamber that follows the path laid out by an STL file, like a CAD (Computer Aided Design) design. This has been adopted heavily by the space and aerospace sectors, as well as medical and dental industries because of the customization and intricacy capabilities of the technology.
Both processes have benefits and drawbacks - it is all about what the best fit is for your application and production goals. If you are making the exact same simple product in mass units, traditional manufacturing like injection molding may be the more streamlined approach to production. If you are offering customization with a product, have intricate geometrical designs or internal structures, or a production goal that may expand or contract over time, AM is worth considering for both short and long-term manufacturing.
When Bauer initially discussed a collaboration, they were skeptical of AM’s ability to scale from prototype to production. They knew it was not the most cost-effective solution for a mass-produced product – but also knew they could stand to benefit by leveraging the steady gain of the customization popularity and wanted to offer a customized helmet made to fit one rather than one-size-fits-all. Fast-forward – Bauer has accepted and plans to expand their 3D printed product lines and overall production with the help of EOS Additive Minds and Digital Foam.
If you are interested in learning more about how AM can add to your production capabilities and portfolio, contact our sales team to discuss your options and production goals today.
Find the 3D printing solution that best fits your manufacturing needs.Learn More