3D printing and the new shape of industrial manufacturing

3D printing (3DP) is coming of age and beginning to disrupt manufacturing--from design and development to production.

From the printing of jet engine parts to soccer cleats, the technology is being hailed as a revolution in how more and more products will be developed, produced…and even sold.

  • Manufacturers—from small job shops to multinational industrial products firms—are crossing the threshold from tinkering with prototypes to the production of final products.
  • 3DP has the potential to shrink supply chains, save product development times and increase customization offerings to changing customers with expectations that products be tailored to their preferences and needs. Indeed, 3DP has arrived on the factory floor and into R&D.
  • According to a PwC survey of US manufacturers, two of three companies are already adopting 3DP in some way—from experimenting with the technology to making final products.