The Manufacturing Supply Chains to be Restructured by 3D Printing Technology


Published Date : Nov 26, 2014

The trend of 3D printing has evolved within a very short period of time. Back in the 1980s when it was built by Charles Hull, it was used as a tool for creating basic polymer objects. However, today this technology is proving its worth in various manufacturing sectors right from developing complex aircrafts and parts of racing cars, to prostheses and human organs.

The business world today is recognizing the potential of 3D printing which ensures environmentally sustainable, efficient, and cost effective manufacturing. If this technology witnesses widespread adoption, logistics, manufacturing, and the supply chain will be revolutionized. In certain areas, the cost of manufacturing can be low, however, management of a global logistics network many not necessarily be low considering the costs of transportation. These costs can come down via 3D printing and this enables businesses establish local manufacturing centers close to the strategic markets thereby decreasing the supply chain length and ensuring a low carbon footprint.

Inventory concerns can be tackled by regional manufacturing centers, especially for the consumer and industrial spare parts sectors that sell highly customized products. As a result, manufacturers can use 3D technology for manufacturing goods to order, thereby minimizing waste and saving money. 

Apart from manufacturing, this technology will bring about positive changes in the area of third party logistics providers in terms of the way in which they operate, especially those logistics providers that offer global services. The business of third party printing has the capacity to offer another solution to the manufacturing sector by making it more sustainable. In fact, products that are manufactured in this way will leave a smaller environmental footprint, as a result of lower physical movement of goods and materials.