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We Compared 3D Printing Farms and Professional 3D Printing Solution

2023.09.15  211 clicks

The rapid expansion of 3D printing technology in the industrial sector has ushered in a plethora of service offerings tailored to meet varied demands. At the heart of this proliferation lie two dominant business models: the 3D printing farm and the professional 3D printing service. While they share some similarities, their operational nuances and target audiences differ significantly. 3DSPRO, operating as a 3D printing service platform, have watched them both grow, so we compared them, and is trying to provide some unbiased insights for everyone who is interested.


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Image Source Out of Darts





Core Concept

Currently, a 3D printing farm typically stands for a centralized facility equipped with an array of FDM 3D printers operating concurrently. Its primary aim is to produce large quantities of items efficiently, catering to both individual and commercial requests. Think of it as a "print-on-demand" hub.

Professional 3D printing service, on the other hand, refers to companies that offer specialized 3D printing solutions, usually coupled with design consultation, industrial grade 3D printers, post-processing services, and other tailored equipments and services. They tend to focus on high-quality, bespoke outputs, often for specialized industries or intricate projects. Of course, professional 3D Printing Service can be the "print-on-demand" hub as well, but this is just not their key focus.



Scale and Volume


3D printing farms are geared towards high-volume outputs. Whether it's a single design replicated thousands of times or various designs printed en masse, printing farms excel in meeting bulk demands in relatively shorter time frames.

Professional 3D printing service, while they can handle volume, their forte is precision and customization. These services are often sought by sectors like aerospace, healthcare, or robotics, where intricacy, material quality, and finishing touches are paramount.



Service Scope


3D Printing Farm - Most farms operate on a "you provide, we print" model. The customer supplies a ready-to-print design, and the farm takes care of the printing.

Professional 3D Printing Service - Such services often encompass a broader scope. Beyond just printing, they may offer manufacturability analysis, design consultation, material advice, post-print processing, quality assurance, and even assembly. They are an end-to-end solution for 3D printing needs.




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Material and Technology Diversity


3D Printing Farm - Farms, given their scale-driven model, might have limitations on the variety of materials they can offer or the printing technologies they employ. The most popular printer chocie for a 3D printing farm is desktop FDM printers, which is suitable for regular materials such as PLA and ABS.

Professional 3D Printing Service - These services often invest in diverse and advanced printing technologies, such as SLS, MJF, and SLM,and materials to cater to niche requirements. From engineering plastics to metal printing, from high detail resin to bio-compatible materials, they're equipped to handle specialized demands.



Price Point and Audience


3D Printing Farm - Given their bulk, streamlined operations, and relatively printing farms can often offer competitive prices, especially for large orders. They cater to a broad audience, from hobbyists and designers to small businesses.

Professional 3D Printing Service - Owing to their specialized services, advanced technology, and expertise, they might come at a premium. For example, 3DSPRO has prepared the professional 3D Plus Solutions to meet specific requirements. However, industries that prioritize precision over cost will opt for these services. 



Quality Control and Expertise


3D Printing Farm - While they maintain a standard quality, the focus is on quantity and efficiency. There might be less human oversight per individual item.

Professional 3D Printing Service - Given their niche focus, there's often a higher degree of quality control, with experts overseeing the entire process to ensure the output meets exact specifications.


Summary

In essence, while both 3D printing farms and professional 3D printing services harness the potential of 3D printing, they cater to different needs and markets. Printing farms are the go-to for high-volume, efficient outputs, whereas professional services are the choice for specialized, high-quality, bespoke projects. As the industry continues to grow and diversify, understanding the unique value proposition of each will be crucial for businesses and individuals alike. However, we are thrilled to see them coming together in terms of growing the 3D printing inudstry and lowing the barrier of 3D printing together.



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