3-D Printing, Conventional Manufacturing at Risk

3dprinterpartsThe capabilities of 3-D printing hardware are evolving rapidly. These machines the begin by printing simple plastic items can now handle a range of materials from titanium to organic materials like human cartilage. Not only does this technology allow for a spectrum of materials but allow  for production of fully functional components including LED’s and other electronics.  The ability to create complex items with mechanical and electronic components will make 3-D printers a viable alternative to standard manufacturing.

The technology is rapidly improving and costs are decreasing. Larger and more complex components, increased precision , and higher speeds is just the tip of this iceberg ready to sink the manufacturing economy. In my opinion it is not a matter of if 3-D printers will become a staple in every house but when. Just like how the personal computer invaded in the 1990’s, 3-D printers will rock the foundation of business.

Expect 3-D printing to:

  1. Change the design, production and logistics of products
  2. Influence manufacturing strategies
  3. Become highly profitable
  4. Change business models to maximize product design revenue
  5. Quickly and continuously improve capabilities
  6. Make many manufacturing facilities obsolete

3-D printers still have many markets to profit from before entering our homes. From a historical perspective, 3-D printing has a clear path through corporate America.  Just as computers made their way from research to business, 3-D printing will replace many conventional manufacturing processes.  They will eliminate the need for specialized machinery, they will reduce development time, and reduce the waste of raw materials.  Research suggests that 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing could reach $1/2 Trillion by 2025.

Here is short video that briefly speaks on unique materials and how in combination with 3-D printing will change the manufacturing landscape