Category: Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is upon us and additive manufacturing will likely be a cornerstone of the factory of the future. This section is devoted to discussing all things manufacturing and fabrication and how additive will continue to change how companies make products!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Contract Manufacturing

What is Contract Manufacturing? Contract manufacturing enables companies to offload part of their operations to an external vendor that can provide superior quality, cost, capacity, expertise, and/or lead time. This could include design, fabrication, or assembly. A customer will typically request an estimate and the contract manufacturer will provide a quote based on the estimated […]

Industry 4.0 – The Factory of the Future

What is Industry 4.0? In recent years technological innovation has given us access to products that previous generations would’ve considered impossible fantasies. Computers, smart phones, GPS, the internet, and streaming online media are all recent technological breakthroughs made possible through advances in the digital sphere. Now, technological innovation is making its way to the factory […]

The Definitive Guide to Contract Manufacturing

Overview of Contract Manufacturing Contract manufacturing, otherwise known as outsourcing, has become an ever-more increasing trend worldwide as companies look to become more competitive in a new global economy. According to a recent survey by Micro Sourcing, 57% of companies in the United States increased their use of outsourcing, while 34% significantly restructured outsourcing agreements […]

The Case for 3D Printed Jigs & Fixtures

Jigs and fixtures are critical tooling items in countless production systems. They allow for higher output levels and more repeatable first-time quality, all while lessening the amount of labor hours required to complete a task. The main drawback to jigs and fixtures is the cost for the initial fabrication and the lead time to receive […]

Rapid Manufacturing with 3D Printed Casting Patterns

The casting process in one form or another has been around for centuries as it fundamentally has remained unchanged; molten metal is poured into a mold and left to cool, creating a metal part. The process today involves several steps and is designed to produce high volumes of casted parts. First a pattern must be […]

3D Printing vs Injection Molding Manufacturing Process

Plastic is a material used worldwide in a wide range of applications and products from medical to consumer products to aerospace. All these products must be manufactured in an efficient way to bring value to the end user. The most widely used manufacturing methods for plastic products are injection molding and additive manufacturing, otherwise known […]

Getting Started With Small Batch Production

There are three main types of production flows: continuous flow, batch production, and job production. Continuous flow is utilized to efficiently produce high volumes of identical units like gasoline and cars. Job production is used to create a single unique product every time with an example being a house or an aircraft carrier. Batch production […]

6 Steps of the Plastic Product Manufacturing Process

Plastic materials are used worldwide in a wide range of applications including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, packaging, and many others. This is due to its low cost, malleability, and ease of manufacture. The plastic product manufacturing process can be done in a variety of ways including molding, forming, or 3D printing. When high volumes of […]

Improve Quality, Cost, & Flow Time with Contract 3D Printing

There are a variety of factors to consider when evaluating a make/buy decision.  These factors can include the strategic importance of the work, core competencies in the supply chain, capacity constraints, and cost.  Companies should rarely use contract manufacturing if the work in question is of high strategic importance.  Exceptions could be made if the […]