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QuintEssence Blog: How will 3D printing impact your business model?

The maturity of the 3D printing market is becoming in an interesting phase. Complex design definition or high printing costs barriers seems to be settled. For corporates its becoming a necessity to discover their potential of 3D usage. Taking its roots in manufacturing, 3D printing was primarily used for prototyping products. In fact, large corporations continue to use rapid prototyping to save millions of dollars. For example, Ford is currently using 3D printing to make large selections of its car parts for testing purposes.  According to Ford, the company can save up to $ 493.000 a month of work with this production method. Nowadays 3D Printing is increasingly being used to create production-ready pieces. For certain industries this can become a game changer because of:

  • No limitations of complexity; Current hurdles of the delivery of certain designs can be solved
  • Sustainability; Products printed in 3D can be recycled back to raw materials for new 3D products.
  • Mass Customization; Everything can be customized/personalized to the client needs
  • Manufacturing as a Service will lower production costs; Printers can be shared and parts can be printed locally. Internet platforms organize the optimization of demand & supply of printer capacity (look-a-like Uber)
  • From Order to Stock to Make to Order; No more stock. Jus printing the needed items at the needed moment (Just-in-Time)
  • Innovation accelerator; New designs can be tested and improved in a short term

Potential limitations to 3D printing can be;

  • Intellectual properties; Everything can be copied. The protection of intellectual property will be challenging.
  • Need for market standards; In most cases, new designs will be a combination of printed and ‘normal’ parts, so called Hybrid designs. The integration of the printed and normal parts creates the necessity to define clear standards.

What will be your next step in this area?

3D Printing
*Quintessence is the Quint Trend Institute with the objective to follow and analyze developments that will have an impact on the business of our clients and markets.

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