Additive manufacturing enables product designers to produce their designs directly themselves. Additive manufacturing offers incredibly fast time to market and freedom to do one-offs and short production runs. Our lab is equipped with cutting-edge 3D printers ready to manufacture your designs. Our Hewlett Packard Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer, in particular, is a game-changing technology. Now we can make functional end-use parts for product designers faster and more cost-effectively than other ways. Hewlett Packard herald this as the next industrial revolution.
At Fluxaxis we are working with a growing number of product designers. Their requirements include functional components for mechanical systems and aesthetic parts, as well as prototypes and models. An example includes a set of components we turned around this week for Design4Plastics within 3 days.
Product designers can now create new forms. Forms that cannot be made other ways. This brings new levels of innovation and performance. Take Adidas' Futurecraft 4D trainer, for example, which features a 3D printed sole engineered to provide optimum performance. A growing method of design is generative design, which uses software to optimise forms based on structural or other design parameters. Typically, the resulting designs have complex shapes that are only viable to produce by 3D printing.
Customisation and personalisation of each unit is available too, since 3D printing negates the requirement for tooling. There is no barrier to variation. This opportunity brings benefits to all areas of product design but especially consumer goods like sports goods, fashion-wear and user interfaces. New companies such as unmade are pioneering this principle for fashion, for example. Jabil, the leading supply chain provider for brands, forecasts great opportunities ahead with mass customisation, enabled by 3D printing.