White Paper

Additive Manufacturing as a Production Technology

Learn about five core advantages of additive manufacturing that underpin mission-critical innovation in both products and business models.

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1. Introduction
2. Lessons From a Decade of Helping Manufacturers Adopt 3D Printing
3. How to Find Real Opportunities for Additive Manufacturing
4. Assessing Total Cost
5. Evaluating Revenue Opportunity
6. Conclusion: Next Steps

1. Introduction: Formlabs Factory Solutions

Formlabs Factory Solutions is not only a product offering, but a statement of what we believe: that the agile digital factory, built around 3D printing, provides unprecedented avenues for decreasing costs and increasing revenue. However, the global conversation about additive manufacturing in production is full of misconceptions and confusing hype. In this report, we unpack the experiences of the Formlabs Factory Solutions team in launching and scaling agile factories with 3D printing.

2. Lessons From a Decade of Helping Manufacturers Adopt 3D Printing

Manufacturing leaders have three imperatives: produce the right quantity, maintain quality, and lower costs. These pressures have shaped the manufacturing world into a finely-tuned system built on proven subtractive and formative technologies. It is common for manufacturing leaders to talk about saving fractions of a cent; it is also common for manufacturing organizations to be the most risk averse part of a corporation. In our experience, when manufacturing teams do adopt additive technologies on their own, they use 3D printers either as a support technology (e.g., to make jigs and fixtures) or because switching an established part to production via 3D printing allows for a clear cost savings.

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