Low Quantity Parts / Replacement Parts with 3D Printing


Have you ever been in a situation where a critical part of your operation broke? Have you ever had the need to make a small quick fix to improve something? Or have you ever needed a fixture to hold something in place or a jig to drill, weld, or cut something at a specific distance or angle?

You could go ahead and manually create something which is decently working, but most of the time, this turns out to be sketchy, imprecise, bad looking (yes, most of the fixes get permanent) and a lot of manual work. The other option could be to design something in CAD and send it off for milling or cutting. Regardless of the process and if it is in-house or externally sourced, chances are that it is not quick, at least some days or even weeks. Let’s explore how additive manufacturing and outsourcing design issues like that can help.


Additive manufacturing, low quantities and lead times

Additive manufacturing is unique in its way that there is no tooling required for the process, which enables the rapid production of parts. Further, the lack of tooling keeps the cost low and there is no need to produce a bunch of parts to spread the cost of tooling onto multiple parts. Depending on where your printer is located, if you print it by yourself or outsource it, how many attempts you need until the design is right and which printing technology is involved the lead times can be shortened up down to hours and minutes until the part is ready. 

Various 3D Printed Replacement Parts and Mounting Jigs

Outsourcing the design and printing

You could go ahead and buy a printer for your company, but that also means that you need to spend resources on operating the printer. Additive manufacturing is a comparably simple technology from a usage perspective, but it still requires training to operate, an in-depth understanding to maintain it. Machines of industrial quality (which you want if you want to rely on the printer) are not cheap as well as the human time needed to maintain them. You better use the printer otherwise it might not be worth it. To all that it comes that design for additive manufacturing is not as straightforward as it might seem. In the end the details are important. Therefore outsourcing the design and printing process might make more sense, even if you are in a pinch and need the part fast. Because of the expert knowledge of design companies, they can find quick solutions to your issues and optimally use additive manufacturing so that there is no need for iterations and you, as a customer, can have the solution quickly without diverting your resources away from your core businesses.


3D printing can enable swifter solutions then it would otherwise be possible while also remaining cost efficient since there is no need for tooling which would make the part more expensive.

In need of a swift solution? We can find, construct and print a solution in hours to days. Just give us a call or write us here.


The next releases of our newsletter will cover:

  • 3D Printed Waveguides
  • Replacing Moulded Parts with 3D Printed Parts
  • How to Minimise the Cost of 3D Prints
  • The Truth about Waste in 3D Printing
  • Full Colour 3D Printing

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