Blog Series

The manufacturing industry evolves alongside technological advancements. 3D printing technology has received a lot of attention in recent years due to its potential to revolutionise the way products are manufactured. However, many businesses are still figuring out how to adopt 3D printing technology into their manufacturing workflow.

In this blog post, we’ll look at how the technology can be integrated into your manufacturing workflow and why it’s a game changer for engineers, managers, and businesses of all sizes.

Why Adopt 3D Printing Technology?

3D printing has transformed the manufacturing industry to such an extent that if we begin to list the benefits of the technology, the list may never end. But we share the top four reasons to adopt the technology for you below. However, if you’re curious about reading the many advantages of 3D printing technology, check out the list here.

  • Rapid or On-Demand Manufacturing

3D printing technology has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a rapid or on-demand manufacturing technology. The pandemic really brought the benefits of technology to the forefront, with a slew of small and large businesses in all parts of the world, including India, rapidly producing face shields, medical devices, testing kits, personal safety accessories, emergency separation compartments, nasal swabs, and a variety of other products. All of this was only possible because of the rapid manufacturing capability.

  • Customisation and personalisation

FDM 3D Printer

A Customised 3D printed Electric Car by XEV, Italy. Pic courtesy BigRep 

3D printing has long been associated with customization, but it can also be used to personalise products. If you’re unsure about the distinction between these two terms, consider the below example:

Assume your company is holding a corporate event where awards will be given out to the best performers and top achievers. While your company will almost certainly customise an award trophy for this event to match the company colours, logo, and brand messaging, and the award category even, the trophy may remain same for all awards given out that night.

The reason is simple, it is not feasible to personalise the trophy with the winner’s name built into the design of the trophy. The conventional technologies just don’t allow this level of customisation (or personalisation). However, with 3D printing, the trophy manufacturer can personalise each piece with the winner’s name and any other personalised message onto the trophy while keeping the cost of the part and eventual printing time relatively constant. This is the level of customization that 3D printing can provide.

Imagine this level of customization and/or personalization in a manufacturing setting, and how you can meet the specific needs of your customers.

  • Cost Savings

This benefit is clear when you consider that 3D printing eliminates the need for expensive tooling and moulds. Furthermore, it can be used to produce on-demand replacement parts required in the factory, reducing downtime and, as a result, storage or warehousing costs for replacement/spare parts.

In addition, unlike traditional processes that require the movement of parts from one work centre to another, 3D printing can print the entire part on a single machine, reducing WIP stock, material handling time, equipment cost, part assembly time and cost, and thus labour time and cost.

This is just one example of how costs can be saved, but if you want to learn more about how 3D printing can help you save money, contact the 3DMonotech team to start saving money and literally earning more profits.

  • Improved Product Design

For a long time, concepts such as “Design Thinking” were relegated to theory and were not considered as a practical approach. However, engineers are now revisiting these principles as 3D printers offer affordable prototyping and rapid iterative options. Engineers are now able to learn faster, iterate the design, modify and reiterate to ultimately design the best possible product that their customers will appreciate. All of this while reducing their time to market.

Who wouldn’t want to improve their product design while keeping the costs low and all the while reducing the lead time? This holy grail of manufacturing businesses is assured with 3D printing.

Steps to Adopt 3D Printing Technology in your Manufacturing Workflow

So, what is preventing businesses from adopting 3D printing technology into their manufacturing workflow? Scepticism, lack of knowledge, and a few myths, for example, have all hampered widespread adoption. However, we intend to go beyond these factors and discuss how to incorporate 3D printing technology into your manufacturing process.

  • Assess Your Needs

The most common ways that most organisations adopt 3D printing into their manufacturing workflow is by directly jumping ship and purchasing a 3D printer simply because of a fad in the manufacturing circle or a competitor purchased one. However, this is a recipe for disaster.

Before implementing 3D printing technology, evaluate your manufacturing requirements and determine how it can be used to improve your workflow. Consider factors like lead times, customization, cost savings, and product design capabilities and where will 3D printing fit into your workflow. It is not necessary that 3D printing must fit in your workflow. Sometimes it is not a good fit and thus you need to drop the idea of using the technology and so assessment and feasibility is an important starting step.

  • Identify the ‘Right Project’

One of the first steps towards successful 3D printing adoption is identifying the right project. This is easier said than done, and it is thus one of the most important aspects of the process. The identification process will necessitate a collaborative approach involving top executives from the product team, design team, engineering team, operations, supply chain, and even sales and marketing team. Without the input of all of these stakeholders, you will never be able to zero in on the right project.

This is also an excellent time to learn about the benefits of 3D printing, as well as its limitations and applications. At this point, you’ll need a 3D printing expert to weigh in and help the rest of the team clear up any misconceptions about the technology.

Do not limit your understanding of 3D printing to its use as a prototyping or end-use product manufacturing technology. It can also contribute significantly more between these two manufacturing extremes, such as in assembly, building custom tools and manufacturing aids, in-house part replacement, spare part management, and so on. We will see some applications ahead in this article.

So, consider 3D printing as a project and where it can fit into your organisation to deliver the most value.

  • Decide where to implement 3D printing

As mentioned earlier, 3D printing can be used at various stages of manufacturing.

1. Prototyping

This is the most common application of 3D printing that most businesses are familiar with and use. It is also one of the simplest ways to get started and a safe bet for ensuring that you are leveraging technology to iterate faster before moving to conventional technologies for full-scale manufacturing.

2. Manufacturing aids

3D printed soft jaw fixture /Source: Markforged

3D printing has also been shown to be a viable technology for creating custom tools for repair and maintenance activities, jigs and fixtures, assembly, loading and unloading of parts during shipping, and other applications.

3. End-use Products

It can also produce end-use parts, and many organisations, particularly those in Western countries, use it extensively. Tesla, SpaceX, L’Oreal, Saint-Gobain, BMW, Adidas, Etihad Engineering, and many other companies are utilising the technology.

Bridge Manufacturing: Bridge manufacturing is a concept that businesses can use to get their products to market faster. Simply put, it means using 3D printing for quick low-volume production runs to compensate for the time required to create tools for traditional manufacturing processes. Once the tools are ready, production can be shifted to mass production, but until then, the company can launch the product into the market and benefit from first-mover advantage.

Full-scale manufacturing: 3D printing has the potential for full-scale manufacturing as well. Although it cannot compete with conventional manufacturing’s mass production volumes, it can certainly deliver high-quality parts for limited edition products or products suitable for batch production, such as in the motorsports, aerospace, and aviation industries.

4. Buying a 3D printer

The obvious next step after evaluating the project and the area where you intend to implement 3D printing is to decide which 3D printer to purchase. You will need to seek the advice of a 3D Printing Expert in order to make the best decision. Monotech’s 3D printing technology experts are well-equipped to assist you, and you can contact us if you ever need assistance making the right purchasing decision.

Buying 3D Printer

Some of the 3D Printers offered by 3D Monotech from Meltio, 3D Systems, Markforged.

Other Core Requirements

1. Invest in the Ecosystem

After you’ve determined or narrowed down the 3D printers you can purchase, you’ll need to invest in the technology. Purchasing a 3D printer is not the only thing to think about. 3D printing, like any other technology, has its own ecosystem, and you must consider all costs associated with using the technology, such as software, hardware and maintenance costs, materials, personnel training, and so on.

It is easy to become overwhelmed, but considering the benefits which outweigh the costs, this is a worthwhile investment.

2. Train Your Team

3D printing technology is a new and rapidly evolving field, and it is critical that your team is properly trained in its use. This can include training on software, hardware, using and storing materials, and best practices for producing high-quality prints.Training is important but the team should also constantly upgrade their knowledge and be updated about the latest in the technology.

3. Integrate into Your Workflow

After you’ve purchased the necessary equipment and trained your staff, it’s time to incorporate 3D printing technology into your existing workflow. It is important to remember that you may encounter some difficulties during the initial integration, but persevere. The integration will differ depending on where and at what stage of manufacturing the technology is incorporated.

4. Monitor and Improve

As with any new technology, it’s critical to constantly monitor and improve your use of 3D printing. This can include tracking its impact on lead times, cost savings, and product design capabilities, and making necessary improvements.


Engineers, managers, and manufacturing companies can all benefit greatly from 3D printing technology. You can improve efficiency, cut costs, improve product design, and stay ahead of the rapidly changing technological landscape by incorporating it into your workflow.

3DMonotech has successfully assisted a diverse range of businesses of various sizes and industries in broadening their understanding of cutting-edge 3D printing technology and, ultimately, adopting the technology for business growth. By leveraging our expertise and resources, these organisations were able to successfully integrate the technology, resulting in increased operational efficiency, scalability, and, most importantly, a faster return on investment. This has allowed these businesses to expand significantly and generate higher revenue streams.

We understand that the road to adopting 3D printing technology may appear difficult, but trust us when we say it isn’t. Thousands of businesses are benefiting from technology, and you can as well.