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Manufacturing to budget can be achieved with a forward-thinking approach, encompassing the design of cost-efficient parts and the selection of a versatile manufacturing partner. By Ronan Ye Whether your business needs five parts or five million, identifying cost-cutting techniques can be easier said than done. After all, cutting costs can seem like a surefire route to cutting quality. But that needn’t be the case. With the right mindset, it is possible to eliminate unnecessary costs from your manufacturing project without compromising on quality. In this article, prototyping and short-run prototyping specialist 3ERP talks us through a simple plan for reducing manufacturing costs. 1. Efficiency in design Every part starts with a design. And although the end product may differ greatly from those first sketches, the design of a part has a huge impact on the eventual cost of manufacturing. It’s why creative product designers need to know all about engineering and manufacturing. Fail to account for the ins and outs of the manufacturing process, and costs can skyrocket. So how does efficiency in design affect manufacturing costs? It all comes down to Design for Manufacturing, or DfM, the principle of designing parts with the manufacturing process in mind, not just the user application of the finished product. Whether you’re using CNC machining, injection molding, die casting or another process entirely, it pays to design a part that a) fits within the build envelope of the manufacturing machine, b) does not present geometrical difficulties for the machine, c) can be fabricated by the machine using as little excess material as possible, and d) can be fabricated by the machine in as little time as possible. The specific design choices required to meet those criteria depends on the chosen process. A machined part, for example, should avoid undercuts, while a molded […]
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