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How 3D Printing Can Help Your Small Business

It seems like almost everyone has the “next big idea” — the product or service that will revolutionize the world and help them make a pretty penny in the process. Unfortunately, if your big idea requires the manufacturing of a new, complex object, getting your idea transformed from a few simple drawings into an actual marketable product can seem nearly impossible.

Incredibly enough, though, with the rise of 3D scanning and printing technology, getting your big idea off the drawing board isn’t just doable — it’s also more affordable than ever before. Here’s a closer look at how this stunning technology can help your small business.

Versatility

Of all the 3D-related services currently available, 3D printing has received the most attention in the press. This is hardly surprising, given the wide range of applications already demonstrated by this exciting technology. 3D printing has been used to produce everything from car components to clothing. Air Forces from several countries have used 3D printers to produce spare parts for their planes. 3D printing has even been used to produce blood vessels that could be used safely and effectively in a clinical setting.

With so many stunning examples, it should hardly be surprising that you too can materialize your design, object or prototype using 3D printing service companies. 3D printing can be used to quickly produce both low-cost and high-value items, as well as small-scale models and prototypes for larger objects. Most 3D printing service companies use a powder and binding agent to create a final product that is similar to plaster or ceramics in terms of its quality and heat resistance — in many cases, enabling companies to create a finalized product.

No matter what type of product or prototype you wish to produce, 3D printing can more than likely help you manufacture it.

Time and Money Savings

Rather than investing in the costly and time-consuming manufacturing process offered by traditional machining, 3D printing allows your design to be printed in a single day so you can get a first-hand look at your product or prototype. Better yet, this is completed at a significantly lower cost than traditional machining — some third-party estimates have found 3D printing to result in savings of over 90%.

These savings can be especially important when you are still in the early testing stages of developing your product. Even if your final product will be manufactured using different materials, a physical prototype allows you to identify potential problems or areas where you could make improvements.

When you can gain these insights quickly and for a relatively low cost, you’ll be able to speed up your product development process, saving your precious resources for other key tasks needed to grow your business.

Direct Feedback

As the old saying goes, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Just imagine how much a physical, tangible prototype is worth! In a day and age when many small businesses use a Kickstarter campaign or trade show appearance to get the needed funding to launch, having a tangible product or prototype on-hand can make a huge difference in generating consumer enthusiasm.

With a physical model or prototype, potential investors and interested customers won’t have any ambiguity in regards to what you plan to offer. This allows them to provide better feedback to you, sharing their opinions about what they like or don’t like.

This direct feedback is essential for gauging your new idea’s market potential. An enthusiastic response to your 3D-printed prototype is a clear sign that you should forge ahead, while mixed reactions could indicate a need to go back to the drawing board. Either way, utilizing 3D printing to help you get this type of feedback will help you save time and money as you prepare to launch your product and start your business.

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