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How We Are Accelerating Time-to-Market using 3D Printed Mould Tools

As Product Designers, we use 3D printing nearly every day to check fits, validate geometry and to experiment with mechanisms. The gap between 3D printing being a prototyping tool and a fully-fledged production method is closing. Regardless of these advancements there is always going to be a place for ‘traditional’ production methods such as injection moulding. The constraints involved with injection moulding are evident to anyone who has attempted to bring a product to market. Mould tools can cost in the thousands and take weeks if not months to be put into operation.

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Industry 4.0 and its Implications on the Design Process

Industry 4.0 is the term that represents the next stage of automated manufacturing that includes cloud computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and advancements in other digital technologies. These developments have led to what is being called ‘Smart Factories’; factories in which all the machines, devices and sensors are able to communicate, share information and make simple decisions autonomously. This next phase of manufacturing will allow the process to become more reliable, more flexible, will reduce labour costs and improve productivity.

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