5 Business Models Made Possible thanks to 3D Printing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a way of creating a three-dimensional object piece by piece using a computer design. This method of manufacturing has been steadily growing in popularity for the past decade as well as advancing. However, it is safe to say that 3D printing has impacted the economy and business in several ways, and it will continue steadily growing.
The advancement in technology that led to 3D printing came with a lengthy list of changes for businesses all over. In fact, as 3d print service grows increasingly popular, it is no surprise that this powerful invention has even made its mark on many countries’ economic status.
One thing that 3D printing has made possible is the ability to balance supply and demand like never before. Suppliers have long since started using algorithms, carefully designed, to estimate how much of their products will be needed to meet uncertain demands, but 3D printing has made it possible to create on-demand manufacturing.
Rather than producing everything ahead of the demand, companies can now produce on-demand and create made-to-order products at record speeds. The on-demand manufacturing business model adds emphasis to the faster delivery times as well as the ability to produce parts at any point when they are needed. Customers find this appealing because they can get what they ask for very quickly. Companies no longer have to sit around and wait weeks to manufacture tools and products since they can send design files directly to a 3D printer and have batches of tens and even hundreds produced in little time.
3D printing has also opened the door for service-based manufacturing. This business model, Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS), shares manufacturing infrastructure, making equipment and product capacity can create a much more efficient production rate.
With this method, customers can send in their orders for a specific part, and the network will begin routing the order directly to the given facility or facilities that will most effectively fulfill the order. Alongside the rise of digital manufacturing, it is not surprising that MaaS has grown more and more popular. Not only is production more efficient with this business model, but it is also much more flexible and economically on-demand, enabling the production of small batches and quick one-offs.
Supply chain consolidation is another business model made possible by advancements in 3D printing. This allows corporations to simplify their supply chain and manufacture end-use parts in-house, meaning that companies are able to additively manufacture single units that normally would have required several components fabricated as separate parts.
This process is called part consolidation, and its purpose is to reduce the overall number of parts that need to be produced. In turn, this lowers the complexity of the supply chain for many corporations, making it much easier to run and focus on the mission of the company. This reduced complexity also makes it much easier to run smoothly without any disruptions as well as relinquish the wonder of where products are when they are needed.
Mass customization is yet another outstanding business model made possible by 3D printing. Customers and consumers all over are demanding more and more customized and personalized experiences and products. Everyone wants something unique and original, and mass customization allows businesses and corporations to create one-off products adjusted for the individual buyer. 3D printing provides a realistic and reliable way to create customized products. It is a much easier process to create customized parts using a 3D printer rather than traditional, conventional methods because the printer simply requires a customized digital design versus many tools and man-hours. This technology is advanced enough to create disposable versions of customized molds in the event that it is not fully functional or exactly what the customer wants, hence cutting down on waste, overall cost, and time-prohibition with traditional manufacturing techniques.
Lastly, 3D printing has allowed businesses to participate in the direct-to-consumer business model. This is one of the fastest and fastest-growing ways for brands to enter the market rather than involving a middle-man or third party. This business model makes it possible for businesses and mass manufacturers to bypass the numerous corporate hurdles it takes to get their ideas into the market.
While traditional manufacturing can still be efficient with scales, 3D printing makes it possible to meet or exceed the efficiency goals with one simple unit.
It is no doubt that 3D printing has been a truly revolutionary and beneficial advancement in technology and manufacturing, making for a new world of jobs and economic changes as well as opportunities for growing businesses and corporations.
3D printing has shifted the way manufacturing works in many ways all over the world. In fact, it has been so impactful that it altered the economy by becoming such a large trend and starting a maker movement. This is essentially a revolution featuring anything from designing parts of mechanical machinery to designing toys for children. 3D printing has made it easier than ever before to enter the market and get your product out there, or, at the very least, a prototype of the product.
3D printing has actually been able to generate more than $1.76 billion dollars in income and contribute $5.37 billion to the United States’ economy. This is more than double the country’s direct market sales, so it is safe to say that 3D printing altered the economy. It did so in more ways than just financially. At least 1.5 million jobs were created in the independent worker economy, driving more and more people towards 3D printing technology.
As this revolutionary invention continues to advance, it is likely that 3D printing will continue to impact both the economy and business manufacturing all over. It has already made so many new and exciting opportunities unfold, and it seems as though this continually growing method of manufacturing is nearing its way to the top by creating even safer and more durable products in larger quantities than ever before.
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