Because they are reliable and work quickly and efficiently, 3D printers are now true production machines. From 3D CAD files, without tools, they can be used to obtain production runs of finished products, directly usable by end customers. Depending on the size of the items to be printed, it is possible to obtain a tray of objects in a thirty or forty minutes. For durable parts, FDM technology uses high strength, stable production thermoplastics.
The communication, design and fashion sectors can be set free from traditional manufacturing constraints to manufacture special editions and capsule collections. Issuing figurines for the release of a film, putting out a customised line of smartphone covers or providing VIP bracelets for an evening event; the enormous flexibility and incredible responsiveness of the technology make all these ideas achievable. A wide range of colours and materials meet all aesthetic and ergonomic demands.
In industrial sectors, production thermoplastics can be used to reproduce essential parts in small volumes, while limiting storage and sub-contracting problems. For example, it becomes very simple to produce dozens of identical fastenings for an engine component or make specific buttons for 2 or 3 robots.
3D printing in small production runs also represents an excellent solution for launching a product, confirming the customer response and testing it in different real situations. At lower cost, pre-production runs enable technical or commercial choices to be confirmed before starting large volume production.