Low Volume, Agile, Additive Manufacturing and Capital Costs.

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The industry is transitioning from rapid prototyping to rapid production technologies as low cost, high quality fused filament fabrication machines, such as Type A Machines' Series1 Pro, have become viable alternatives to conventional injection molding.

The following is a comparative study of low volume injection molding services, external service bureaus (using multiple machine additive manufacturing systems), industrial additive manufacturing systems purchased for internal use, and low cost multiple machine additive manufacturing systems such as the Print Pod and answers the question, whether additive manufacturing clusters compete with injection molding.

Key Factors:

  • A new wave of multiple machine additive manufacturing systems comprised of many inexpensive units, such as our Print Pod, can compete with existing industrial additive machines and must be considered as viable alternatives.

  • New additive manufacturing tools change the game due to substantially lower capital investment costs and can offer productivity rates of 10-20 times greater than existing industrial systems for similar capital expenditure.
  • In analyzing the costs-per-part, this paper assumes the machines are purchased. While a low cost service bureau is included for comparison, the analysis should also consider that an in-house production capability is assumed as part of this projection.

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