Printing in 3D is no longer a new technology, but it certainly is one of the fastest-growing technologies. The hardware required to do micro-manufacturing, additive printing and prototyping has become much less expensive over time, but for some it can still be quite a burden, especially if their needs are not as great as a company that might rely heavily on 3D printing as part of their basic business model.

The reality is a big purchase isn’t necessary to get into the world of 3D printing. Many of the most popular printer models can be obtained through a lease. This can be a huge advantage, especially for a company that might be considering 3D printing, but is not quite ready to take the plunge, so to speak. Here are some things to consider.

Financing

Major capital outlays require far more justification and consideration than smaller expenses over time. Most businesses are set up to generate cash flow rather than huge blocks of income all at once. With this kind of expense, paying a little at regular intervals may be easier to digest than paying for 3D printer leasing up front.

Return

The benefits of 3D printing very often accumulate over time. In many ways, incorporating 3D printing into a business model is similar to developing a revenue model around certain intellectual properties. The benefits and new income are derived from an additive process rather than the more exciting but far less practical “discovery of a gold mine” alternative.

The best example of this kind of “found revenue” model is the production of prototype products. Over time, those prototypes inevitably lead to discussions with potential customers, which leads to trial purchases, which leads to a new product line and an additional growing revenue stream. Getting from drawing board to that revenue stream works best when up front expenses are minimized, and the best way to do that is with a lease.

Upgrades

One of the key benefits to any kind of technology lease is the ease with which the upgrade path can be followed. This is a vital point when it comes to something as fast-moving as 3D printing. Getting new hardware can sometimes make the difference between manufacturing a better mousetrap and not quite hitting the mark. The better mousetrap is always the difference in business, which is why it is so important that your technology infrastructure be set up to take advantage of advances in capability and efficiency. A good lease will do this for you, and you won’t even have to think about it.