End-Use Parts

Confidence is Key

You’re under the constant pressure to get your products manufactured and ready to use or sell. You might be asking yourself if Additive Manufacturing is a solution for End-Use Parts. Maybe you feel like it will suffice for prototyping; testing and refining, but not the final product. It’s a reasonable concern.

We understand the importance of having unwavering faith in your product or component. Stratasys Production Series 3D Printers give you the confidence you’re looking for. All 3D printers in this series produce the most durable, stable, repeatable parts in the industry. They allow you the freedom to optimize parts with organic shapes and complex geometries, including hollow interiors and negative draft.

PolyJet Technology and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology are used in the 3D Printer Production Series. Let’s explore FDM technology.

Defining FDM

FDM is a type of 3D printing where lines of molten thermoplastics are extruded from 3D printers. These materials then solidify exactly as they are deposited. Manufacturers are embracing FDM as an alternative to traditional manufacturing technologies, such as injection molding and machining for low-volume and customized parts.

FDM End-Use Parts

FDM technology is used to 3D print end-use parts across the entire product lifecycle. In the early phases of product release, it can be used to make parts for pilot production runs.

Once the product has been validated and all component designs are frozen, FDM technology is used as a bridge to production: end-use parts are 3D printed while waiting for ramping of tooling and manufacturing equipment and processes.

For more complicated geometries and custom solutions, full production using FDM technology is the practical option. Since traditional tooling is aimed at the production of a single design, FDM technology is an efficient and optimized solution for products that are continuously changing – either through product revisions or through order-by-order customization. FDM technology extends the product life with minimal expense or inventory and can also continue to manufacture small parts even after products are retired.

In traditional manufacturing, processes such as molding, casting, and machining are used and the primary focus is on how to design for capability, optimization, and efficiency. Once this process has been developed, it is static. Changes increase costs, drop throughput and lower manufacturing efficiency.

FDM technology avoids these problems. Designers gain creative freedom With FDM technology. Parts can be designed to optimize for function, not the manufacturing method. This includes the ability to consolidate part count by reducing a multi-part design to either a consolidated or single part design.

It is the best fit when production volumes are anywhere from a quantity of one to 1,000, and the designs are moderate to very complex. FDM technology allows for continuous improvements and design modifications, giving you the flexibility to expand product lines to serve markets with tailored solutions. Often this involves a design that is impossible or impractical to manufacture with traditional methods. FDM makes low-volume manufacturing practical, affordable and efficient.

Feel better about 3D printing end-use parts? Great. Contact us for more information.

Want to read more? Download the White Paper on End-Use Parts from Stratasys’ website here.