# Scales of production

There are four terms used to describe the scale of production in relation to manufacturing a product:

• and one-off production

## Prototypes and one-off production

There are many ways to produce a prototype - some are rough and look like models and others are well finished and function as intended. It is now possible to many different polymers. Engineering companies have welcomed this technology as 3D printing is classed as , rather than subtractive. Additive manufacture builds up the polymer form in layers, whereas takes material away from a larger piece. There is very little waste when using additive techniques, making it more environmentally friendly.

There are many 3D printer to choose from - some polymer-based filaments contain carbon fibre, different wood fibres and even metals. It is possible to make a functioning prototype with these technical filaments.

A custom-made or product that is made from a polymer could be made to a customer , eg acrylic signs on shops.

## Batch production

is where many items of the same product are produced, such as an acrylic menu stand for use in a chain of restaurants.

It is likely that the acrylic stand would be laser cut, heated on a line bender and then left to cool in a . The jig ensures that each menu stand cools and remains in place at the same angle each time.

When a product is made in a batch, it is often far cheaper per product than when making just one. A sheet of acrylic can be bought in many different sizes - for example, if the sheet is 1000 mm × 600 mm, it can fit inside many larger and many parts can be cut from it while it is in the machine.

### Example

Assume the cost of a 1,000 mm × 600 mm sheet of acrylic is £8.00.

Therefore, one menu not made as part of a batch = £8.00

If each menu stand uses a 200 mm × 300 mm sheet of acrylic:

1,000 ÷ 200 = 5

600 ÷ 300 = 2

5 × 2 = 10

Therefore, 10 menu stands can be cut from the sheet of acrylic.

Batch of ten menu stands = 8 ÷ 10

= 0.8

One menu = 80p (in batch)

Question

If each menu stand uses a 245 mm × 290 mm piece of acrylic:

a) How many could be cut from a sheet measuring 1,000 mm × 600 mm?

b) How much will each menu cost?

Assume the cost of a 1,000 mm × 600 mm sheet of acrylic is £8.00.

a) 1,000 ÷ 245 = 4.08

600 ÷ 290 = 2.06

4 × 2 = 8

Therefore, 8 menu stands can be cut from the sheet of acrylic.

The numbers were rounded down as the 0.8 and 0.6 represents the waste material once 4 × 2 menu stands have been cut from the acrylic.

b) 8 ÷ 8 = 1