One of the advantages of 3D printing is that the number of parts can be reduced. This is actually a bit one-sided. Strictly speaking, it should be through software algorithms to optimize the topology of components, integrate multiple components into a whole, and optimize their structure. Ultimately an assembly made up of multiple parts and optimized to a part made up of just a few parts. In general, this optimized overall structure can only be achieved through 3D printing. For example, NASA reduced the rocket engine from 80 parts to three. General Electric, simplified the turboprop from more than 800 parts to 12.
The reduction in the number of parts can bring many benefits:
- The overall weight of the components is reduced, mainly due to the large reduction in the use of fastening parts such as screws, and the reduction of materials after integration.
- The number of prints is reduced and the cost is reduced.
- Inventory reduction.
- The working state of the components can reach the best state.
- The overall surface area of the component is reduced, which reduces the workload of surface post-treatment.
- The tested parts are greatly reduced, which speeds up the testing process.
- The assembly time is greatly reduced.
- Eliminate the hidden danger that the components cannot work due to the failure of fasteners and a certain part.
- Production consumes less energy.
- It is easy to iterate, only need to redesign, and does not involve the change of production tools.
- The transportation cost is reduced, and there is no need to transport many parts from multiple places to the factory and then assemble them.
- The response to the market can be faster.
- Lower maintenance cost.
- It is easier to obtain patent applications.
- The overall stability has been improved.