Is 3D Printing the Future of Manufacturing?

 Is 3D Printing the Future of Manufacturing?

Industrial demand for 3D printing manufacturing is growing.

The technology is in its infancy, but make no mistake: 3D printing will change the world.

It’s no longer a novelty for tech enthusiasts.

It’s an inevitable part of a global industry that has an insatiable hunger for lower overheads and cheaper costs.

Let’s find out why.

3D Printing

Your average home printer reads a file from top to bottom and reproduces it.

3D technology does the same thing, but with a virtual object. Computer-aided design (CAD) involves the creation of a digital model. The model is cut into slices, and those are layered on top of each other. The result?

A three-dimensional object.

And 3D printing technologies aren’t restricted to plastics, either. Common materials include metals and ceramics – and there’s even the potential to use biomaterials to print food.

Imagine downloading a pizza.

On-Demand Manufacturing

The potential for this technology is enormous.

Simplified, the global economy relies heavily on outsourcing. From the aerospace to the automotive to the clothing industries, the manufacture of products is distributed.

You may have heard of “just-in-time” manufacturing. But let’s be real.

It’s not sustainable or efficient to ship car parts from Southeast Asia to Germany for sale in the United States. It only works because of scale and massive shipping fleets, which aren’t without risks.

Remember the blockade of the Suez Canal in 2020?

It cost the global economy $400 million per hour. And it’s one of 14 global “chokepoints” that could cause similar problems.

The need for global shipping will never go away. But as prices come down and 3D printing becomes commonplace, on-demand manufacturing has the potential to replace a lot of outsourcing.

Potential of 3D Printing

3D CAD printing isn’t a novelty anymore. It has potential applications in every industry across the globe. The biggest barrier to entry is the cost of materials.

But as the 3D printing industry grows, those costs will come down. Eventually, it will be cheaper to use 3D printing services to manufacture all sorts of parts and materials. There’s less manual labor involved.

Industrial Manufacturing

Industrial manufacturing will see a massive uptake of 3D technologies in years to come. Large-scale manufacturers invest billions into their factories.

And much of the work that takes place is already automated. Think of the manufacturing lines of Mercedes or BMW.

Prosthetics and Organs

Tailor-made prosthetics are expensive and difficult to construct. And replacement organs are hugely problematic for the simple reason that they require a donor.

3D manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize these industries. There’s already a startup in Japan designing a 3D printer capable of printing cells to construct artificial organs.


Don’t just think small. The future of the construction industry may well be handled by excavator-sized machines that print houses brick by brick.


Sending parts to space is expensive. And in space, replacement parts are a matter of life or death.

SO expect there to be a 3D printer capable of creating replacement parts aboard the ISS in the near future – it means NASA and other agencies can ship printing material and print whatever their astronauts need on-demand.

3D Printing Manufacturing is the Future

As technology advances, new innovations can seem like nothing short of magic. 3D printing manufacturing is the latest idea that can seem crazy – particularly when talking about printing food and human organs.

But it’s not magic. It all comes down to basic economics.

As startups make progress and innovate, the technology becomes cheaper. Eventually, the tech will hit that critical tipping point where it’s cheaper to 3D print than use manual labor – and that’s where the revolution begins.

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