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3D Printing Will Change Manufacturing Supply Chains

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People have been experimenting with 3D printing since the 1980s. It’s only been around for a few years, but people are already starting to use it in the manufacturing sector. Polymer objects from these printers can potentially be used in intricate machines and even human organs. Some people predict that most homes in America will someday have a 3D printer to create simple objects like cellphone cases and toys. Of course, it could easily be another 10 years before it happens.3D printing is great because it is environmentally friendly and cost effective. Objects can be created without excessive heat, manpower, logistics operations, or storage space. However, there is some concern that it will create a lot of waste. Canalys says it will revolutionize manufacturing and all supply chain and logistics processes that go along with it because of the cost savings. The global market for 3D printers could even reach $16.2 billion by as early as 2018.

Manufacturing with 3D printers reduces logistics and manufacturing costs because objects can be manufactured closer to markets. As a matter of fact, people can even manufacture their own products at home. This will cut down on labor costs and outsourcing schedules. 3D printers cut down on manpower and all costs associated within supply chain organizations. This is a major win for the consumer.

Potentially, software sales could skyrocket for the printing designs of all sorts of objects on both a home scale and for large manufacturing facilities. Instead of “next-day” delivery, people could buy a product online and print it at home a few minutes later. This also takes personalization to a whole new level. 3D printing is definitely the wave of the future as far as manufacturing; it’s just unknown how long it will take to implement it on a large scale.

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