Most likely, your company’s product development department has either an in-house additive manufacturing system for rapid prototyping, or they outsource prototypes to a service that uses additive manufacturing. In either case, talk with the design engineers in product development, and ask about a sample project. Ask if they will build you a simple manufacturing tool like a small jig, fixture, or gage. And compare the cost to what you spend having the tool produced via traditional means. If you find a simple entrance into direct digital manufacturing this way, you will join the many leading companies who discovered DDM via the same path.
This article was written by Scott Crump, CEO of Stratasys Inc., Eden Prairie, MN. For more information, visit http://info.hotims.com/28057-121.