ROI playbook

How to Create a Comprehensive Business Case

Learn the 4 steps to writing a successful business plan for metal additive and move toward production–faster. Download our playbook Building the Business Case: Identifying Criteria to Measure ROI for Additive Manufacturing and learn why developing a business case can help your investment in additive yields a higher return on investment. 

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Tomas Kellner
19 September 2019

Frequently asked questions

Q: How does an additive part or additive system make money for my business?
Additive manufacturing can be leveraged in different ways. Design flexibility of the AM process allows for new designs, adding capabilities to products or creating new products to serve an existing or new market space. Additionally, in some cases AM can provide complexity of components at a lower price and faster lead time than conventional processes.
Q: How does the cost of an additive part compare to a traditionally manufactured part? I’ve heard it’s often much more expensive on a part-cost basis. Is this true?
In some cases a part produced with AM will be less expensive than conventional, for example parts with complex post-processing and assembly. While AM may not be directly cost competitive with simple parts that would otherwise be cast or forged, re-thinking the function or physical constraints of a part will yield new designs, some of which AM will be the best solution.
Q: Aside from cost, what are other factors I need to consider to build a comprehensive business case?
Consider the implications of disruption to your supply chain and overall business model. Is there a sole-source provider for a critical part? Are your lead times way too long? Is your supply base resilient to global issues like a pandemic or climate change? Are your products still competitive, or do you need to reinvent them to serve a rapidly changing marketplace?
Q: If I want to learn how to better understand how to calculate ROI, what is a good first step?
The first step in any ROI calculation is determining costs, both for capital and recurring expenses. Machine performance will give insight into recurring expenses, while capital expenses will be dependent on the type of post-processing your component requires. The other half of the equation is how much money can be generated from the investment. It’s best to analyze this not from a cost perspective, but rather, did using AM allow you to change the market price?