We have all come to the understanding that as 3D printing is becoming more prevalent in the mainstream consumer market, it is becoming even more ubiquitous in the engineering office (if it wasn’t already necessary). Even with this insight, many engineering offices still don’t have a 3D printer or use a 3D-printing service bureau.
Several factors are the cause, including the ever-burdening return on investment. If a 3D printer costs $200k and your company redesigns a product twice a year, it’s clearly not a good investment. This is the benefit of the emerging consumer market for FDM (fused deposition modeling) and SLA (stereolithography) machines.
As I’ve written in the past, 3D printing may or may not be the next industrial revolution, but is sure has made life a lot easier for engineers that do a lot of prototyping. As the market for 3D printing has changed, engineers have started to realize the importance of this technology and how much easier it can make life in the design process.
That’s what inspired Product Design & Development’s ‘What Would You Print?’ competition – to give engineers and designers the opportunity to flesh out their design in CAD and have us print it on our Uprint from Stratasys. Even more so, the best design will win an Afinia H480 desktop 3D printer – giving all those engineers who could use a 3D printer, but can’t convince their project manager that the ROI is worthwhile, a chance to start printing.
All designs are welcome, so long as they would make life easier for the user. To put it bluntly, we’ve already printed our fair share of toys and figurines, now we’re looking for a great design that might not see the light of day without 3D printing.
For more information visit www.pddnet.com/what-would-you-print and submit your design to win an Afinia H480 3D printer.