Keeping Up with the Now
Change is difficult. Huge undertakings in history like the transferal of business records from being entirely on paper to a computer, and moving from a brick and mortar storefront in one community to an online store available to the whole world, seemed daunting. These changes and others in recent history are huge, involve tremendous effort, and some understandable fear of the unknown. But we all agree that the benefits far outweigh the hassle it took to get us here. Incorporating additive manufacturing into your business can be intimidating but in today’s survival of the most agile, it has become necessary.
Products are becoming increasingly complex, demanding more complex development processes. This naturally leads to larger cross-functional teams, additional suppliers, more extensive testing, and increased cost. Customers, however, continue to demand smarter, cheaper, and higher quality products. New product development (NPD) places relentless pressure on you to enter new markets and achieve greater market share while satisfying existing customers.
New Product Development (NPD)
Designers and engineers walk through four essential project phases to NPD:
Concept: Begins with ideation and research followed by rapid design iteration based on prior knowledge and application requirements. Ends when a primary design is selected.
Design/Development: Detailed engineering and design modifications are performed, along with supplier selection, initial testing of the design, and investment in manufacturing equipment.
Validation: Involves testing and analysis of production-representative products and manufacturing process.
Launch: Once the product has passed testing, manufacturing lines ramp up production, and the first products are distributed to customers.
Sounds foolproof. But in reality, decisions to invest are made without complete knowledge and design challenges occur after investments are made. With additive manufacturing, you can examine your designs with a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses before committing to final production!
Trade Quality for Speed? Never.
Additive manufacturing doesn’t mean you trade durability and accuracy for speed. It offers the ability to produce samples incorporating smooth, rigid, transparent and flexible materials without sacrificing quality. Read more about FDM and PolyJet materials.
Whether your goal is getting your product on the market before your competition, producing parts and tools on-site for cost-efficient and time management purposes, or simply a faster way to test, refine, and move your design from imagination to formation, 3D printing removes the barriers engineers and designers face by making the rapid prototyping process more efficient and productive. It’s time to rethink current processes to give you the ability to take the lead in your industry.