So you might have heard about some models being referred to as "no assembly" or "Print in place" models, or you probably just saw a video that has intricate designs being 3D Printed without any assembly required for them to work. These models are designed so that they are interlinked and function without having to do any extra work (post-processing).
You can also utilise this design feature for various applications!
Check out the GIF above, these gears were not assembled after printing, but completely post-processing free! They do that by including a small clearance between all the integrated parts in their design, as well as having a well calibrated printer to ensure the plastic does not sag or melt while printing. Such issues can lead to the parts snagging into each other and preventing smooth movements. Here are other examples printed by Z3D that show such designs being used to create products that would otherwise require some work to assemble them together.
Can you imagine the possibilities in manufacturing when such design technique is utilised? The amount of intricate products can be 3D Printed without the need for extensive post-processing or assembly can help designers and manufacturers to come up with innovative solutions and products that were previously impossible. 3D Printing is rapidly changing how companies prototype their products, and designers are always finding a new way to provide unique solutions for all sorts of consumer needs.