Japanese Nikkei News reported recently that the consumer electronics giant Panasonic plans to use 3D printers to produce resin and metal parts in order to facilitate the mass production of home appliances.
In collaboration with Matsuura Machinery, the 3D printers will be used to produce parts needed for the production of molds, and Panasonic estimates that the production cost could be greatly reduced by approximately 30%. It is the first time Panasonic applies 3D printing in mass-produced consumer electronics and Panasonic expects the same technique will be used soon in automobile industry.
Many plastic parts are used in automobile and consumer electronics industry. Making various molds could take months and every newly developed product needs a new mold. By taking advantage of 3D printing, Panasonic could not only shorten the manufacturing lead time, but also reduce the stock of semi-finished products.