Full story: (c) Formlabs – read here
3D print farms are the next big thing. It can be a strong supplement to your business, but it can also be a business on itself. If it is well-managed of course. Building a print farm, i.e. a cell of multiple 3D printers, has multiple advantages. A bigger production capacity, print multiple materials for production at the same time, …
The print farm is arguably the purest form of direct digital manufacturing (DDM). Why? Because 3D printers are one of the best examples of tools that allow you to go from a CAD design to a finished part directly. Underneath, you can read a short summary of reasons to invest in multiple 3D printers. The full story can be read at here!
But why should I build a print farm?
Support a Larger Team Within Your Organization
One of the reasons can be the amount of users of your printer. When you have a large engineering team, you must coordinate the usage of printers. We know this can be tricky. Not only for usage, but also for maintenance purposes. Multiple printers means working separately, but together.
Boost Production Capacity
The next reason is rather simple. More printers, more production (for your own business or for clients). Chris Vestal, principal of MotoMinded, is a good example. Formlabs themselves also use their print farm (about 50 Form 2 3D printers) for production purposes. The samples parts printed on this print farm can be bought.
Print in Multiple Materials Simultaneously
Production often requires a combination of multiple materials. Since most 3D printers can only print one material at a time, a print farm can save time by printing multiple materials at the same time.
Offer 3D Printing as a Service
With a print farm, it is easier to offer end products to customers. An example is 3D Hubs.
Redundancy and Reliability
The last reason is a general production reason. User errors and general maintenance will, at one point, take down the 3D printer for one print or a small amount of time. Having multiple printers offers you a back up plan.
Build and Manage Your Own Print Cell
Interesting in building your own cell of six or more printers for prototyping or low volume production? Download Formlabs’ whitepaper to learn how to build and manage a multi-printer facility.
You can read the full text of “How a 3D Print Farm can help your business” on the Formlabs website.