Is Bridge Manufacturing with 3D Printing the Right Solution?

At Re3DTech, we’re committed to helping our customers better understand additive manufacturing. We use our LAYER3D blog to peel back the layers of the 3D printing industry and explore all topics relating to this incredible technology.

Since its inception in the 1980s, 3D printing has traditionally been used for prototyping purposes. Now, thanks to recent advancements in industrial 3D printing technologies, it’s possible to use 3D printing services for production quantities as well. 

But what happens when you need quantities that are higher than a single prototype and lower than mass production volumes? This scenario is common when customers have a completed 3D printed prototype but are stuck waiting 4-5 months for tooling to come in for injection molding.

If you need to fill a gap between rapid prototyping and mass production, you could rely on CNC machining, silicone molds, or soft tooling in the interim. But these solutions can be time-consuming and expensive. You’ll probably need up to 10,000 units to justify the cost. 

Instead, consider relying on 3D printing for an innovative solution known as bridge manufacturing

Why Use 3D Printing Services for Bridge Manufacturing?

As its name suggests, bridge manufacturing (also known as bridge production) provides a “bridge” between prototyping and mass production. This low-volume manufacturing solution is ideal if you want to:

  • Go to market faster. Depending on your product and industry, competition may be steep. Bridge production can help you get ahead of the competition by going to market with a new product in just weeks instead of months.
  • Get customer feedback. It’s impossible to have comprehensive insight into your product until it’s in your customer’s hands. Bridge production allows you to get products to customers faster and with lower risk involved. If you receive critical feedback about your product, you can make changes to your tooling before it’s complete. 
  • Deploy your latest and greatest product revisions. With bridge production, you have the opportunity to solve problems as they occur and get your solutions onto the production line quickly. You can continue sending out improved versions of your product while you wait for tooling to come in.
  • Be agile. 3D printing is so fast and easy that you can be flexible with order quantities. If you need more products to bridge the gap than you initially anticipated, simply order additional batches and have them within weeks. 

Is Bridge Manufacturing the Right Solution for You?

If you’re interested in bridge manufacturing, the industrial 3D printing experts at Re3DTech can help you determine if it’s the right solution for you. 

We’ll want to understand more about your application, properties, and timeline. We’ll alsoneed to make sure we have the right materials and technologies to make the part fully functional and as close to the end use product as possible. 3D Printing  

As a customer-focused company, we’ll never recommend a solution that isn’t in your best interest. 

If there’s little value for you in coming to market faster, receiving feedback from customers, and getting ahead of the competition, bridge manufacturing probably isn’t necessary. But if getting products into your customers’ hands in 4 weeks instead of 3 months can give you the edge you need, bridge manufacturing can be incredibly valuable. Contact us today and let’s discuss your manufacturing needs!

DELIVERING SUCCESS AT SCALE

My partner and I approached David at Re3dtech with our project and were greeted with kind and caring service. Throughout the last couple of months we have placed several orders in varying size and were even able to sit down with David and the owner to discuss our needs as a small business. Through this sit down we saw their passion for assisting both small and large clients in achieving their goals. We even had a hiccup with a batch of prints that was immediately addressed and remedied with precision and care. I almost don't want to recommend these guys because I feel like I have stumbled upon a hidden gem in 3D printing services and selfishly want to keep it to myself. Jokes aside we will be continuing our business relationship with the folks there and look forward to growing our order quantities and business with their help.
Re3DTech was instrumental in helping us get our product, Stroba™, to market faster! We needed a technology that could do snap fits and looks and feels as close the injection molded part as possible, and Re3D Tech was there for us. We used SOLIDWORKS Make to get in touch originally, upload models directly, and sign an NDA directly with their excellent team. It was really simple and easy to use their quoting tool as well. Excellent prices, excellent lead times, and superior quality are perfect words to describe our experience with Re3DTech. We went through many prototypes for Stroba™, and we at Goodfriend Innovations™ use Re3DTech for our other rapid prototyping jobs to help get our additional productions out to market faster than the competition. 5 Stars
I provided RE3DTECH three laser scanned ".stl" files for 3-D printing of prototypes. I used their on-line quote and file delivery process. The file acceptance and resultant quote were returned quickly. The parts were received at the quoted time. The parts are quite complex with many holes, angles, curvatures and notches. Each of the parts came out identical to the scanned parts dimensionally and passed the form/fit/function test in the upper level assembly. RE3DTECH has a high quality business process and produces high quality products. I will use them for future prototyping projects and recommend RE3DTECH.
Re3dtech is one of the most honest and reputable companies we have done business with. We decided to look into options for getting parts made in the USA for the retail market. It was awesome to find a local company with humble staff looking to provide their services meeting our criteria, not to mention meeting the Re3tech crew face to face and checking out their operation. Peter was very honest, knowledgable about design. Peter's creative element made working with him a great pleasure. Jim's flexibility was a breath of fresh air and greatly appreciated. CentralSound is proud to scratch the surface with Made in the USA parts in the retail market now, thanks to Re3dtech. Hope to do more business with them in the future.
Re3dtech has consistently delivered the best service I have ever received in the industry. Their response time is unmatched and they always stand by their parts and quality. They regularly make me look like an all star at my job.
It is always a pleasure to have a vendor that provides quality, experience, and always shows as much care for your order, and your product as you do!