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3D printing brings money saving benefits to small businesses


This guide outlines the basics of 3D printing, and how small businesses can use it to save money and improve their bottom line.

A startup was born a few years ago with a curious proposal: to materialize characters from the players of the online game World of Warcraft in small three-dimensional statues. The business proved to be a success – today it is possible to buy a “printed” version of your avatar on the startup’s website for $130 – but it can only be made possible thanks to one technology: 3D printing.

New technologies regularly emerge to facilitate and optimize many activities, but the one among them making the most impact these days is 3D printing, which has been a reality within businesses, making them more sustainable and without great costs. With increasingly affordable prices, 3D printers are becoming a source of revenue and savings for small businesses, which use the equipment to produce prototypes and mockups with greater agility at lower costs.

The Industrial Revolution was the greatest historical process for the development of technology. The new forms of production became faster and cheaper. Industry 4.0, also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has been transforming the business world through the use of machines, computers and robots. Innovation is the keyword of this revolution .

In this aspect, the present technological innovations have impacted on the efficiency and practicality in the manufacture of products on a large scale. One of these technologies that has recently become popular and has become a reality within the market was 3D printing. Read on and check out how 3D printing works and how it can save your small business money.

Designing and printing your marketing materials is a great way to save money and allows you to be more creative and personal in your marketing approach. Still, you can always look for commercial printing to get the best of your BTL strategy.

How does 3D printing work?

Despite being a major technological advance, 3D printing services have been around for a few years. The first 3D printers modeled, in a very simple way, objects from a command. These machines used resin to solidify the materials. The working principle of a 3D printer is the same as a conventional one. Instead of paint, the most varied elements are used, from plastic filaments, metal, powder, gel or any other product, which can even be food. Instead of letters, the machine prints layer by layer of computer-developed three-dimensional pieces.

Even with 30 years of existence, the 3D printer only became popular in 2009, and started to advance even more, becoming a great reality in the middle of business. Today, with 3D printing, objects can be molded using the following materials:

ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a petroleum-based product. It’s a plastic that can also be seen in automobiles, appliances, and even Lego pieces ;
PLA: is a product made from renewable resources, similar to the material used in biodegradable plastic packaging;
PET: it is well known, as it is one of the most used materials, including the ones that are present in plastic bottles;
Nylon: is a synthetic material that resists very well to different types of chemical products;
ASA: named Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate and is very resistant to impacts and exposures such as rain, cold and sea water. This material is present, for example, in ceiling coverings, toys, pipes, etc.;
TPU: Thermoplastic Polyurethane is a very flexible material, has a lot of elasticity and is one of the most used by 3D printers.

How can the use of 3D printing benefit a small business?

3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing models of various products around the world. It makes it possible to manufacture solid or physical objects by the computer itself, thus enabling an improvement in production and a reduction in costs, in addition to improving the prototype of the products. Here are some benefits that a 3D printer can bring to a small or medium business:

Customized production

Companies have always had to keep up with the pace of their customers or users, as they live in constant change. Innovating in technologies helps to give, more quickly, what the customer wants. Customized production, which consists of the production of customized materials, uses the 3D printer to customize molds according to the needs of its customers.

Virtual modeling for industries

The automobile industry, for example, has benefited greatly from the use of 3D printers, as it allows for much faster printing of prototypes of parts that, in previous years, took much longer to produce. This type of printing reduces manufacturing costs by up to 75% , in addition to reducing production time. This is on a larger scale, of course, but small businesses wanting to test products on the market can also access the benefits of rapid prototyping by using 3D printing.

Design optimization to reduce costs

Contrary to what was done before, building the design of a part or product was much more labor intensive, in addition to costing much more. Today, with 3D printing, these design processes can be optimized, so that the part to be modeled can be improved, through the creation of models in software, in which it is possible to elaborate the ideal project with the material necessary for the procedure. , thus reducing huge costs.


This new 3D printing model brings several possibilities for innovation since, unlike traditional models, machines can now build objects in different formats, in series and at high speed, important factors for the production to be completed.

With these new machines, there is no limit to the molds. There are infinite ways in which products can be produced, as well as countless functionalities for the objects that will be printed.


Replace parts that have gone out of circulation, test new product designs, create prototypes and even final products… The list of applications and 3D printing ideas in the industry grows at a fast pace. Incorporated in the most different types of business, large companies such as Alpargatas and multinationals such as Fiat, MAN and ThyssenKrupp , are some of those that already account for the gains from the application, with reduced deadlines and efficiency gains.

A survey by the American consultancy Wohler Associates indicates that business with 3D printers moved US$ 5.1 billion worldwide in last year, an increase of 30% compared to the prvious year. By 2025, the estimate is that the figure will reach $51 billion. Another consultancy, Grandview Research, estimates that, in 2021, 2.1 milling 3D printing units were purchased around the world, a number that should jump to 15.3 million in 2028.

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