The Global Effects of 3D Printing

by norm on May 30, 2017 (120 Views)

The Global Effects of 3D Printing

It is hard to believe that 3D printing technology is fast becoming market ready, and soon to be available to DIYers, for someone who has not seen 3D printed objects with their own eyes. However, the awareness of application of 3D printing is spreading tremendously. 3D printing has given exceptionally new ways to get the products manufactured. Consequently, this has immensely affected the traditional ways of manufacturing goods. In this article, two major points regarding 3D printing’s impact globally are highlighted.

How 3D Printing will affect traditional manufacturing globally

3D printing has the potential to bring greater benefits to the world in terms of social, fiscal, ecological and safety implications of the manufacturing practices. The foremost advantage of this technology in terms of manufacturing and supplying products is its ability to be in proximity with the consumer. This in turn reduces supply chain restrictions found in current production system. The benefit of creating customized objects according to the preferences of the customers, aid in eliminating issues associated with inventories and stock buildup. We can relate this to e-shopping and Amazon working procedure.

For an instance, printing 3D spare parts at home would probably halt the need of shipment from one part of the globe to the next. Subsequently, it will cause huge impact on how the several industries whether large or little will function and connect on a universal scale.

Many of us dream of and working towards the goal of being able to operate personal 3D printer. This would involve using internet to directly downloading the available digital designs for their tailorable item. Then the downloaded 3D image would be forwarded to the special printer which has all the necessary material loaded. However, this level of larger-than-life approach is seen as something far from today.  

To what extent the Global Economy be affected

The global economy will be deeply affected once the 3D printing becomes universal manufacturing solution. Creating products according to the specifications provided by customers in their area compared to current scenario which requires additional efforts to manufacture and distribute would drastically trim down the unevenness between export and import countries.

Additionally, 3D printing will give rise to novel industries which would require experts and professionals from the field of 3D printing productions. This will help in capacity building and enhancing job opportunities for product designers, operators, material suppliers, and printing specialists, among others. Currently, several IP holders are concerned about intellectual property rights and the issue of piracy. Hence, 3D printing would also require services to cater intellectual property legal disputes and settlements.

No doubt, 3D printing promises so many potential benefits including diminished manufacturing expenditure by recycling, lesser use of transport which in turn reduces pollution and supply chain costs, and easily managed inventories. On contrary, developing countries might suffer financially due to loss of traditional manufacturing jobs. This might cause them to take time to overcome their economic situation.

Amazingly, China has taken an initiative to adopt this technology in order to compete and remain abreast of Europe and the U.S. It was reported in 2013 that China possesses the world’s largest 3D printer measuring 1.8 meters in diameter. Right now, it is not evident what potential benefits have 3D printing technology has brought to China but it can be surely said that it will grant China a competitive edge in domestic manufacturing.

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