3D printing in research and development has unfolded a vast range of opportunities in different industries. It has eventually helped in developing our existing machinery and infrastructure. With the invention of more agile and innovative machines, the R&D sector has been one of the frontrunners to witness the transformation of times. Many industries thrive on their empowerment of the R & D sector and utilise a hefty portion of their capital to enhance their current capabilities.
The R & D industry has also not been untouched with the benefits of 3D printing technology and the wide range of applications it brings with it. 3D print technology is a major contributor to the R&D sector as it enables them to make prototypes, test and modify them. Moreover, 3D printing technology can quickly scale up the production volumes with the already designed prototypes.
Global spending on the research and development sector is continuously growing and has touched USD 1.7 trillion, which is continuing its journey uphill.
Benefits of 3D Printing in The Research & Development Industry
- Quick iterations: 3D print technology enables any manufacturer to ramp up its production process once the design gets approved by the research and development team. The models can be quickly iterated and scale up the production process. In the meantime, it is also possible to customise the model and project any necessary modifications in the final output.
- Flexibility in choice: 3D printers works through adding sheaths/ layers upon the prescribed cuts. It can use a wide range of composite materials and polymers whichever suits the production goals. They can produce models with complex geometries which can be easily designed on the CAD software. Moreover, you also get enough colour choice to design an attractive product.
- Accelerated process: When someone needs to pitch investors for their ideas effectively, they need a working 3D model of the product to show its importance. 3D printers are a quick way to realise your prototypes through quick designing and validation phase. The designs are made on CAD software which can be printed into a 3D prototype. The prototype can be quickly tested to meet all the quality checks and made ready to show its versatility to the prospective clients or investors.
- Accurate and exact replicas of designs: Build a robust model in the exact sense of the design. The 3d printers can replicate the exact model and dimensions to near 100 % accuracy. It’s a fast process, and the production volume could be scaled up with low investment.
Applications of 3D Printing in The R&D Sector
- Product Design and Development: 3D printing is used as an integral part of doing the initial prototyping of the idea. The designs can be made through the help of computer-aided design and put in the 3D printer to get the model. It is used in early concept models which are followed by many industry giants to gain market share and provide a platform for the product launching.
- Huge library of materials: In the materials engineering industry, researchers are continuously looking to build a new hybrid composite material which has some more useful properties than the already existing ones. These materials have a huge demand in manufacturing, defence and medical industries.
- Speedy and economical: Any automated process has an advantage over the conventional manufacturing process in terms of time. 3D print technology is no exception and is one of the fastest manufacturing processes among the existing options. The whole model is built by adding layers with the required dimensions and comes out to be exactly as the designs.
- Freedom of design: CAD software opens a wide range of possibilities for the designers to establish supremacy in terms of the looks and features. There are multiple options to modify the existing design to make it more feasible to sustain in the long run.
- No limitations: Manual workforce is capped in terms of production and hence is not the preferred manufacturing process. 3D printers are machines which can reiterate the models and produce them in bulk volume in less time. There are very few limitations in the 3D printing manufacturing technology when compared to the traditional ones. The R & D sector utilises this advantage to give us more environmentally friendly concepts.