Why Does The Consumer Product Industry Need Additive Manufacturing?


76% of manufacturing organizations in the consumer goods sector have already adopted 3D printing. Manufacturers in the consumer goods industry are increasingly investing in 3D printing to offer more customer-focused services and products at lower prices.

Each producer of consumer goods should give additive manufacturing substantial consideration. They need not plunge in blindly. If they don't, they'll be left on the sidelines while their more agile rivals sail off to triumph, while they flounder. On that note, let's examine why the consumer product industry needs additive manufacturing.

1.    Customization

Customization is all the rage, with people talking about everything from customized headphones to handmade shoes. One of the key advantages of additive manufacturing processes for consumer products is the possibility of customization, despite the hype. Regarding customization, 3D printing opens up new avenues because it eliminates the need for costly adjustments to the tooling depending on individual requirements.

In 3D printing, the only equipment a manufacturer needs is the machine itself, as the design data is delivered directly to the printer. This also ensures that the complexity of individualization isn't accompanied by corresponding price hikes. Since 3D printers don't require special tools for creating complicated shapes, there are no added production expenses associated with printing a wide variety of designs.

2.    Design Flexibility

With 3D printing, businesses have unprecedented creative freedom in designing and creating complex shapes that would be hard to produce using more traditional methods. The capacity to manufacture intricate details has already spawned novel items like lattice-structured shoe insoles and bike components that are stronger and last longer.

3.    It Is Sustainable

Contrary to the more common subtractive manufacturing methods, 3D printing builds up layers of material to create a finished product. This method greatly reduces material waste, making 3D printing a much more environmentally friendly manufacturing option. As an example of the potential for waste reduction, Nike used 3D printing in its shoes, the FlyKnit, and created 60% less waste than conventional cut-and-sew processes.

4.    Faster Manufacturing

Prototypes can now be made considerably more quickly than with conventional production methods like CNC, thanks to the advent of 3D printing. Toly, a consumer-goods packaging company, has been able to reduce their product development period from months to days with the use of 3D printing.

Before the advent of 3D printing, the business relied on computer numerical control (CNC) for prototypes, which meant waiting up to three weeks between the design phase and the prototype phase. With the use of 3D printing, Toly is able to manufacture prototypes in one night and put them through their paces in testing the following day.