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On-Demand 3D Printing

3D printing can be a great way to manufacture your parts. Particularly, when used on an as-needed basis, it can help increase efficiency and better cater to demand. In this article, we’ll discuss how on-demand 3D printing works, the pros and cons of it, and if it’s right for you.  

How On-Demand 3D Printing Works

3D printers use STL files, or generic CAD models, as the instructions to properly print your part. Like any other digital files, once created, these files can live on a computer indefinitely and take up little space. A collection of these files may be referred to as a virtual library. With on-demand 3D printing, you simply choose one of these design files from your library, send it to the appropriate 3D printer, and wait for the printing process to begin. Depending on the size of the chosen part, the print may be completed within a few hours to a few days. As such, parts can be produced on an as-needed basis. 

Advantages of On-Demand 3D Printing

On-demand 3D printing is great for increasing the efficiency of production while keeping costs low. Here are some specific examples of how on-demand 3D printing does this:  

1. Rapid Turnaround Time

Due to the additive nature of the 3D printing process, a 3D printer takes very little setup in order to be able to print your part. This means parts can be produced quickly whenever you need them, enabling you to meet tight deadlines.