At this late date in the year, many organizations have some 3D printing thinking to do.
I was triggered to this post’s thinking by a recent solicitation from 3D print reseller iMakr, who suggest by means of their newsletter, “Put your 2018 end of year budget to work for 2019.”
This is actually a very typical situation in many business environments. A department is assigned an annual budget that funds their operations. The manager of the department is required to stay under budget, or else Bad Things will happen.
However, if the manager somehow is FAR under budget, then next year’s funding is at risk, because if you could get through this year with funding at X, then next year you could do the same.
Thus, many managers find themselves in a situation at the end of the year where they must quickly “spend” the rest of their budget to ensure they receive something close to that in the following year’s budget.
It’s really a silly situation, but it actually happens all the time. Let’s look at some practical options in a few scenarios.
Not 3D printing: For example, a department is interested in experimenting with 3D printing for the first time.
An easy-to-use, fully assembled desktop 3D printer could be acquired to allow staff to experiment and develop practical applications. There are many options that could be used to match the available budget
Buying credits at one or several notable 3D print service bureaus could be purchased in advance to allow future printing take place and have staff learn about 3D printing in different materials
CAD training video services could be obtained to help staff learn about 3D design
CAD tools could be bought for staff, as several offer cloud-based options that are priced annually: buy a year in advance
Is already 3D printing: For example, a workshop that already uses 3D printers:
Additional 3D printers matching those already in use could be purchased to add capacity to the workshop
Pre-buying quantities of frequently used materials could easily soak up any amount of available budget
Buying credits at industrial 3D print services would allow work to take place next year without in-year expenses
Pre-pay next year’s CAD tool subscriptions
Buy samples of several unusual materials not normally used in the workshop that could be used for experimentation
Purchase tickets for an upcoming 3D printing event where new equipment and materials could be investigated, including travel expenses
There’s plenty of budgetary tricks that can be used to enhance your 3D printing experience for next year using this year’s budget. If you do have some stray money, use it wisely!
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