How-to guide: Justifying the Investment of an Industrial 3D Printer

Written by: Stratasys Solutions Ltd | Published:

To designers, engineers and product managers, the value of 3D printers is unquestionable. Yet despite the obvious value, it may be unclear how to convince management teams and accounting departments that the benefits justify the investment.

For many companies, prototyping is an expense, not an investment, for which there is no budget. With this mindset, increasing the volume of prototyping work means only that expenses increase. This translates to a negative impact on the bottom line that becomes hard to rationalize.

This scenario forces many to justify 3D printing on the weakest value proposition, saving money by substituting it for current prototyping processes. This approach works, and many companies have successfully used it for justification. However, doing so ignores the value of enacting change within the product development cycle; changes such as completing more design iterations, prototyping early and often, or making the impractical possible. Excluding these benefits weakens the justification, which makes it more difficult to make the case for an investment in 3D printing. In this White Paper we provide strategies and guidelines offered by those that have been successful in justifying 3D printer purchases.

The fundamental advantage of 3D printing is that it allows product development teams to easily, rapidly and cost effectively produce functional models and prototypes, independent of design complexity. Parts can be produced in hours or days rather than weeks, expediting the product development process and expanding the scope of prototyping work.

To justify 3D printing based on printing more prototypes, the value of prototyping must be quantified in real, tangible ways. Likewise, a justification based on speed must also be rooted in tangible gains that result from making the prototyping process faster. Although “time is money” is an oft-stated platitude, the direct link between time and money can be difficult to establish, at least in terms that are indisputable in a financial justification. Without the time-to-money correlation, 3D printing justifications may be difficult.

Download this white paper now to understand how to make the case to management, with our step by step guide on Justifying the Cost of an Industrial 3D Printer.


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