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 Top 3 Low Volume Manufacturing Methods 2021


Low volume manufacturing is a manufacturing method that produce parts limited to 100,000 units or fewer. High mix low volume manufacturing are increasingly popular for many kinds of industries. Low volume allows limited investment in tooling and materials. It offers quick access to market, rapid response to short product life cycle. It acts as a bridge between prototype and mass production. At TEAM Rapid, our low-volume manufacturing service provide customers with hundreds or thousands of parts. Our team of engineers will work with every customer every step from prototyping to production. If you are ready to begin your next projects, contact our team and upload your file to get an instant free quote.


Benefits from Low Volume Manufacturing

Low volume manufacturing create a bridge between prototyping and mass production. It reduces the cost and without minimum quantity requirement. Low volume manufacturing offer quick access to market. It allows faster design changed and offers shorter product life cycle. And the financial exposure for low volume manufacturing is lower.

Top 3 Low Volume Manufacturing Methods

Low volume manufacturing methods include injection molding, CNC milling and 3D printing. Every low volume manufacturing methods has advantage and disadvantage.

Low Volume Manufacturing Products


Low Volume Manufacturing by Injection Molding

Injection molding is usually used for high volume manufacturing. Nowadays, injection molding can be an ideal method for low volume products even if the volume is less than 100 parts. As the demanded volume is not high, low volume injection molding can use inexpensive material to build the tooling. For example, aluminum, carbon steel etc. To support mass production more than 5000 of unit, high volume injection or high mix low volume manufacturing are more expensive and mode of steel selection. Low volume mold has steel-build counterparts so it can be turned around in a short time.

Low Volume Manufacturing by CNC Milling

CNC milling is a subtractive manufacturing process. It uses rotary cutters to remove material from the source material. CNC machine can build parts quicker compared to low volume injection molding. CNC milling requests fewer tooling so the upfront cost is low. In CNC milling, production will start once the CAD file is converted to the CNC program and the machine is set up. CNC milling machines can create parts in a few hour depending on the complexity of the parts. CNC tools allow high repeatability and tolerance.

High Mix Low Volume Manufacturing by 3D Printing

Building parts by adding material. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique. 3D printing uses CAD files to create parts directly. 3D printing does not request tooling. Compared to a CNC milling machines, 3D printing machines are much easier to use. Manufacturers can use 3D printer to produce low-volume production runs by in-house 3D printers. 3D printing process begins with a CAD file of the part. 3D printer support complex designs. As 3D printing offer greater flexibility, designer consolidate components and sub-parts which are necessary for injection molding or CNC milling. When the CAD file is created, it is translated into a STL file and sent to the machine. 3D printing software will take the STL file and slices and model into layer for printing. Depending on the parts size, design and printing technology to create the part, 3D printing process will take a few minutes to several hours. 3D printing faster than CNC milling because it doe not require manual repositioning of parts and fixtures. 3D printing parts require little or even no post-processing. It wastes much less material. Nowadays, 3D printing is used widely in our daily life, it can be used in high mix low volume manufacturing in some cases.


Contact TEAM Rapid for Your High Mix Low Volume Manufacturing Projects

The three low volume manufacturing methods have their benefits. Low volume injection molding benefits manufacturers which want near term expansion into high volume production. CNC milling provides tight tolerances and meet large size requirements. 3D printing enables offer faster, greater design freedom and more sustainable manufacturing. If you want to start your low manufacturing projects, contact us today. Our engineers will the suitable low-volume manufacturing strategies

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