Since the industrial revolution, the rate that new items are invented, improved, and manufactured has increased by a huge degree, with the peak of this trend found at the start of the digital age. Nowadays, products can go from being a mere idea to having a physical form within a matter of hours. This power is changing the way that products are being delivered, with a lot of companies using higher and higher tech equipment to get the job done. Of course, though, how exactly is such a rapid turnaround possible?
CNC Machines: This sort of machine is like no other. Starting with a block of the material you’re using, these devices are able to slowly cut away at the outer surface, leaving you with something ready to be finished with sanding and polishing. A method like this is great for parts and items which need to have incredible strength, along with requiring great accuracy in their design. This sort of machine is very expensive to buy, run, and maintain, so it’s worth looking for another company willing to let you use theirs instead of getting your own.
3D Printing: In some cases, it can be better to start from the ground up, building rather than taking away. A 3D printer offers exactly that, enabling businesses to print items using an array of different plastics. A lot of people worry that this sort of process won’t be strong enough for heavy applications. In reality, though, polycarbonate 3D printing gives you the power to use options with incredibly high strength and even protection from the elements. This sort of option is often a lot cheaper than having things made in other ways.
Testing: Of course, though, the power of computers isn’t only found when it comes to making the physical items. Given the types of file these devices work from, you have a lot of scope for testing when you’re using machines to help you make things, often limiting the amount of prototypes which have to be made by a huge degree. This is great when you don’t have a huge budget to work from.
Design: Finally, as the last area to consider in this field, it’s time to think about how products are designed when they’re being built like this. In most cases, this will be done using digital 3D models of the products. Going from sketches, renders, and other images to a realistic construct takes time, though. While it gives you the chance to create ease in your systems in the future, it won’t be easy to get to the finished product. Of course, though, it’s still a lot simpler than doing it using older options.
Hopefully, with all of this in mind, your future manufacturing pursuits will be much easier to understand. As time moves on, this field is becoming more and more diverse. With machines dedicated to created single components, and, in some cases, entire buildings being used for the same cause, it’s easy to see how popular these methods are becoming.
Walter G. is a software engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. When he isn't blogging or being a CTO he enjoys coding randomly complex things that he hopes many people will get a chance to use one day.