The main problem with the involvement of 3D printing in mass production is the speed. Even though 3D printers are big time money savers, since they are so slow the adaptation of this technology in the mass production is being refrained till now. For small manufacturers it is the best available option as they print one or two items per day.
The 3D printing company that has come forward to solve this problem is 3D Systems that is in the process of creating a 3D printing assembly line. The line runs in a cycle with a nozzle that spits out materials that are of different colors. In other words it’s a series of 3D printers that are placed in a line which is oval in shape. It uses a few printers to switch back and forth between colors. For example: if an object is to be printed which should have two or three colors so the nozzle will squirt out different colors simultaneously to achieve the desired object. As the item spins under the nozzle they gain height and then are moved into a collection bin. This new system prints 50 times faster than the standard FDM printing which is quite an impressive change.
This is being done for making mobile cases for Project Ara which is designed by customers. The work of these printers is definitely simple as the printing that will be done would be of square shapes with different colors on them but the inclusion of 3D printing in mass production is quite an attractive concept all together.
Image source: 3Dsystems press release