Entrepreneurs think a lot about marketing. But, in many ways, marketing is just the short-game. The long-game is technology. Ultimately, tech is what decides whether a company is successful or not. 

3D printing is arguably the most exciting technology in the manufacturing space right now. It has the potential to completely change the way the world’s production systems operate, providing consumers with better products at lower prices. 

Strangely, though, industry as a whole is skeptical about what it can achieve. Entrepreneurs in the segment know that additive manufacturing has been around since the mid-1980s. And it hasn’t - as they see it - had a massive impact on their operations. 

Advances in technology, however, are changing things. In 2021, we’re seeing a step-change in capabilities similar to what happened when Apple released the original iPhone back in 2007. A whole new space of possibilities is opening up. And only companies that prepare now stand any chance of thriving. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the weird ways 3D printing is going to disrupt business and help to create a better world. 

Non-Mass Production

Mass production was one of the greatest inventions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Industrialists saw that they could produce products in bulk and lower the unit cost. It was great for consumers. 

Unfortunately, though, it led to product homogenization. Everyone had to accept virtually identical models and there was a lack of customization. 

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3D printing promises to change all that. Today, it’s possible for customers to order the exact product they want and then have a machine print it out for them. 

What’s more, there’s virtually no limit to the level of customization that’s possible. Users can even upload their own designs or get professional agencies to create them for them. It means that the production of one-of-a-kind goods is going to explode. 

Prototyping

As industries learn more about 3D printing, they are realizing that it can help bring costs down. 

In aerospace, for instance, companies are now using additive technologies to create new prototypes that replace the need to individually manufacture separate parts. Companies can simply print and test parts all day long, without having to go to the trouble of creating separate molds. 

Spares

It’s a similar story when it comes to parts and repairs. It’s now easier than ever for companies to simply order a new replacement part freshly printed, instead of having to rely on supplier inventory. 

Imagine if, in the future, your spare parts inventory could be just a lump of raw material and some designs stored on a cloud server. It would massively reduce your costs and improve your efficiency because you could create the parts you need instantly onsite without having to wait for delivery. It sounds futuristic, but that’s the world that’s coming. 

It’s clear that 3D printing is going to be a disruptive tool for companies. And that’s why it’s imperative to begin preparing now. You want to have a strategy in place before compelling mass-market products arrive. 

This is a contributed post

Featured image courtesy of: Photo by Mushroom from Pexels

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