3D Printing Really Is Less Expensive

ZCorp issued a press release describing the experience of Converse, the footwear manufacturer using ZCorp technology in their design process. The interesting bit is that they’ve stated the savings they’ve found in actual dollars. Here’s the results from the press release:
  • They “can produce a shoe model in two hours, or nearly 30 times faster than an ABS printer”
  • “Eliminate eight annual trips to Asia for design consultations at a cost of up to $12,000 per person for each trip”
  • “Cut tooling costs from $350,000 in 2006 to $150,000 in 2008 by using ZPrinted models to winnow designs”
  • “Transform the way the company does business by bringing 3D shoe models to key accounts and producing models on demand”
  • “New prototypes in hours and cutting weeks off our design cycle”
That sounds like almost $300,000 in concrete expense savings, and an unknown amount of labor savings that could amount to much more. Of course, that’s only one side of the equation: what did Converse have to spend to get those savings?

They’d probably have had to do these things:

  • Acquire the ZCorp 3D printers
  • Design the new work process to efficiently use the printers
  • Train staff to use the new process and tools
  • Acquire printer consumables as needed
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me, and as Bryan Cioffi, Manager of Digital Product Creation says: “the airfare savings alone have more than paid for the machine and materials”

Via ZCorp

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