How 3D Printing Will Increase Your Tech Business’ Clout in the Industry
3D printing has quickly become a fascinating option for creating everything from prosthetic limbs to children’s toys. Whether your tech company currently has a 3D printer or you’ll invest in one soon, the machine could help you become more respected in your industry and community. Here’s how.
1. Arrange Partnerships With Schools
A 3D printer could give you a perfect opportunity to connect with school representatives in the area that want to expose students to 3D printing possibilities, but don’t have the resources in their educational budgets to purchase the machines. For example, you might host a demonstration for a class at your facility. That approach helps learners become familiar with the technology while seeing what your company does.
Doing this also supports a broader effort to get more students interested in pursuing tech careers. You might even launch an internship program, so students gain real-world experience working with your company’s 3D printer and the other aspects of your operations. As you come across especially motivated interns who are passionate about tech and your businesses’ aims, it may become easier to meet your hiring needs.
You could also encourage employees to visit classrooms and give short talks about 3D printing and its capabilities. Such events allow creating a dialogue with students and don’t require opening your facility for tours or hands-on education.
2. Meet Needs in the World or Your Community
Representatives from tech companies frequently collaborate for causes that help the greater good. They might raise money through a charity 5K run or take part in events that support environmental sustainability. Those things are certainly still worth doing. However, you might achieve an even greater reach by using a 3D printer to address known needs worldwide or closer to home.
For example, 3D-printed shelters could keep people safe after natural disasters strike. As the world dealt with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Belgian company made a 3D-printed door handle addition that let someone operate a handle-style door with their forearm. This invention cut down on the surface contact that could accelerate the spread of the virus. The company freely offered the design so that anyone with a 3D printer could make the product.
As you explore how to help others with a 3D printer, focus on the needs you could fill most easily. You can extend your overall reach and impact if you can quickly pivot to serve others, instead of opting for something that may require weeks of setup time.
3. Capture Attention With 3D-Printed Business Cards
Standard business card designs don’t do much to stand out from the crowd. However, it’s arguably easier to achieve that goal if you incorporate 3D printing into the efforts. The internet offers numerous styles, and many of the creators provide the necessary instructions and files for anyone to make them. Some even have punch-out parts recipients can assemble into objects that stand on a flat surface.
You could also use these business cards to create excitement around your company’s ties to 3D printing. If you recently invested in a machine, give people the cards and tell them they were among the first things created with the new equipment.
Using a 3D printer to make business cards is particularly impactful if you want to demonstrate that your tech business will emphasize 3D printing more, or if the method is already a central part of how you operate.
4. Satisfy the Public’s Fascination
Many people have heard about 3D printing, but they don’t know how it compares to other manufacturing methods, such as CNC machining. 3D printing has been an option since 1986, but it’s relatively new and evolving. CNC, on the other hand, arrived as a possibility in the 1940s. Both are popular choices in the manufacturing world. You could bring clout to your tech company by offering public presentations about 3D printing, giving historical context and modern examples.
It’s an entirely different thing to see a 3D printer in action — and marvel at and touch the things created by it — rather than just reading about what’s possible. Articles can pique the public’s interest, but interactive presentations can make them even more excited.
You could also use these events to spotlight your team members’ expertise. If members of the public see that your employees are authoritative and approachable, they could feel more confident about hiring your business for an upcoming project.
5. Enjoy Better Prototyping
Prototypes are crucial during the research and development stages of a product. The efficiency of 3D printing allows companies to tackle prototyping faster than before. This benefit means products may arrive on the market more quickly, which keeps your company competitive.
Using 3D printing for prototypes also significantly reduces unused materials. Statistics show that under 10% of 3D-printed materials end up as waste. That advantage could allow your company to save money while prioritizing sustainability.
Another perk of prototyping with 3D printers is that some models available now can print more than a dozen types of items without requiring long setup times between each. As such, you can explore the options for new products with more flexibility than you might otherwise have.
6. Increase Revenue Opportunities
3D printing also presents viable ways for your company to boost its profits. For a start, the fact that the business has and regularly uses the printer could aid brand awareness and attract interest from a new segment of potential clients. If other companies — within or outside the tech sector — need a 3D printer, you could give them temporary access for a fee or have them hire you to meet their requirements internally.
Many designers also rely on 3D printers to diversify their revenue streams. For example, in some marketplaces, design experts sell the files for recently created projects. The parties that provide them also often give guidance about which models of printers to use or how to set them up to mimic the results they achieved.
Another way for your company to gain prominence is to sell products made with the 3D printer. That could be a smart choice if you expect to use the machine more often for its tech-related work soon and want to make some extra money until that happens. You could also mention your businesses’ website and social media handles in the product descriptions to give people a clear connection to your tech enterprise.
Stand Out in the Tech World With 3D Printing
The tech sector can be ultra-competitive. However, strategically using your 3D printer to get attention and help people understand your capabilities can pay off and position your brand on the cutting edge of innovation. Try these tips when you’re ready to use 3D printing to help your company grow while receiving admiration and recognition.