Why Hybrid Approach Works at 3D Printing In-house and Outsourcing?

Why Hybrid Approach Works at 3D Printing In-house and Outsourcing?
  • Aug 19,2022

3D printing is a proven technology for prototyping, tooling, and production. Industries inclusive of manufacturing, consumer goods, medical, automotive, jewelry, education, and many others are using 3D printing to develop quality products, shorten production times, and reduce costs. In addition, the ability of 3D printing means design engineers can be greater innovative and experiment in ways they otherwise wouldn't be able to.

While buying a 3D printer, it is critical to select one which meets your needs and supports you as you grow. However, with so many extraordinary 3D printing technologies available such as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Digital Light Processing (DLP), Stereolithography (SLA), and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), finding the right fit may be challenging. Unfortunately, the burden of this decision often leads to companies outsourcing instead of purchasing a 3D printer.

Many companies think they have to decide between purchasing a 3D printing machine or outsourcing. However, one of the largest 3D printing service providers surveyed their customers, and over 85% owned a 3D printer. This hybrid approach gives users the best chance at success with 3D printing, and we consider it the proper choice for a lot of companies.

Benefits of In-House 3D Printing

•    Design Validation

Having a 3D printer allows companies to create more than one iteration, allowing them to hold the parts in their hands to determine what works and what would not fast.

•    Flexibility

Having a 3D printer at your fingertips permits you to make bigger into applications you hadn't even considered before.  

•    Demand

Having a 3D printer lets you to print 24/7.

Benefits of Outsourcing 3D Printed Parts

•    Access to Cutting-Edge Technology

You can choose almost any material, surface finish, print size, or other specification, and you'll discover a 3D printing services provider to make it for you. Service providers spend millions of rupees on equipment and hire teams to operate and maintain them, so you don't need to.

•    Hands-Off Production

Simply create a 3D CAD model, upload it, and a printed part will deliver at your door when it’s done. You don't have to prepare the 3D printer, build the part, perform post-processing, reprint the components if it fails, etc.

•    Facility Requirements

3D printing service providers often undergo significant modifications to their facilities to install specific equipment.

Benefits of a Hybrid Approach

•    Specialty Parts

There are some components your 3D printer won't be able to print. This could be due to various reasons, including component size, material properties, geometry, etc. Even as you must be capable of produce most jobs on your 3D printer, you could outsource parts outside your printer's capabilities.

And, if you find yourself ordering parts printed with the same 3D printing technology or material over and over, it may be time to consider buying another 3D printer. Think of it as a technology test drive.

•    Demand

Once you own a 3D printer, other departments will likely ask you to 3D print their parts. This increased demand can lead to a long list of jobs waiting to be printed. A 3D printing services company lets you offload some of the overflow keeping your processes moving easily.

Also, when you have a large part in the queue that will take days to print, you could consider offloading that part to a 3D printing service provider, freeing up your 3D printer for other jobs.

•    Learning Curve

Working with a 3D printing company like Engineering Technique and gaining hands-on experience will help you get to understand your 3D printer inner and out. You'll learn what 3D printing materials you prefer, which orientation works best, your ideal infill, etc. Then, when you outsource parts to 3D printers, you're unfamiliar with, you don't have to learn everything about that 3D printing technology as well. Instead, you’ll have an awesome baseline knowledge of how you need your 3D parts to turn out and a best 3D printing service provider will assist you with the rest of the details.


The critical takeaway from this article is you don't have to determine among the two. Both 3D printing in-house and outsourcing has its advantages but combining the two solutions is a winning formula. It's all about finding the right balance for your 3D printing requirements, and that is our forte.

When considering a partner for your 3D printing needs, consider Engineering Technique. We've been assisting everyone from startups to Fortune 500 organizations get the most out of 3D printing for nearly 20 years. For more information, visit us at: https://www.enggtechnique.com/

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