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Metal AM economics in a nutshell – by 3DEO

Video about competitive advantage of metal AM in large scale production
Lets talk about the difference about metal additive manufacturing versus traditional manufacturing. In my mind it comes down to three main categories. The first category is tooling or fixturing. This is really dealing with the upfront costs. The second main category is with lead times, e.g. how long does it take to get your first part. And the third category is Minimum Order Quantity. In all three of these categories additive manufacturing really shines. With a first category what we are talking about is upfront costs. You don’t have to invest 50-100 thousand dollars into tooling with metal injection molding for example. You order the first parts and that’s all that you pay for.
Similarly with CNC machining for example you have fixtures that you have to buy, a set-up and a programming that you have to pay for. With additive manufacturing you don’t have any of this, you’re just buying the first part. Lead times is one of the areas where additive manufacturing really shines. I mean with metal injection molding we’re talking of lead times four to six months before you can get your first part. With additive manufacturing it can be in days, or, in worst case, weeks before you get your first part, it means its just a different world. The third main area is minimum order quantities.
When you go to traditional manufacturing like metal injection molding, it takes a lot of effort and time to set up and to tune their tool to start making good parts. As a result what they do is say that you have to order a minimum of five thousand pieces or ten thousand pieces, and this is another area where additive manufacturing and especially 3DO can really shine, because we don’t have any minimum order quantity. You order on-demand as you need the parts. What’s really interesting is that when you compare additive manufacturing to traditional manufacturing, the more complex the part, the more complex the features of geometry, the more expensive that part becomes.
With additive manufacturing, the cost curve regarding complexity is pretty flat, so it does not really matter how complex the part is. What does that mean? That means additive manufacturing really shines when we are talking about complex parts. The more complexity in a part the more of an advantage economically speaking additive manufacturing has over traditional manufacturing, especially with 3DO-s breakthrough technology.
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Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing: Costs Structures and Benefits

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