Desktop 3D printers continue to play a key role in the additive industry. In many cases, not only do these printers handle prototypes, they also handle low-volume production. Aleph Objects Inc. is one of main developers of desktop style 3D printers. We recently asked a spokesperson from Aleph to comment on the future of this technology.
Low-volume/bridge manufacturing is an under-rated capability. 3D printing enables manufacturing startups that previously would have either been financially unfeasible due to needed capital. With desktop 3D printers, it’s possible to start at extremely low volumes and scale up to meet demand, all the while turning a profit. Our company wouldn’t exist today if we didn’t have that in-house capability ourselves. We’ve been able to iterate quickly without considering tooling costs and we’ve scaled the printer cluster as needed to meet demand. We currently run 155 LulzBot printers 24/7, and have printed more than 2-million production quality 3D printer parts since 2011.