Impact of 3D printing on industrial production

3D-Drucker, in dem eine Teekanne gedruckt wird
Currently, there is still a debate about whether we are in the fourth industrial revolution or “only” in the second phase of the third industrial revolution. However, it is indisputable that the technologies of additive manufacturing are a significant part of this development. In part, they are even attributed a leading role in this process. In this post, we explore the impact that 3D printing has on the way production is carried out. 3D printing encompasses a variety of different manufacturing technologies. These technologies can be divided into two main directions:
      1. A material is deposited layer by layer.
      2. A material is in powder form and is fused layer by layer.
    The most significant advantages of additive manufacturing over “traditional” manufacturing are:
        • Flexibility in production: Economically viable for batch size 1; product changes possible almost anytime.
        • Speed: Shortening of the development process and time-to-market.
        • Design Freedom: Virtually no design restrictions and individual product customization possible.
        • Efficiency: Low material consumption and minimal inventory needs due to near Just-in-Time production.
      As existing 3D printing technologies continue to evolve and new technologies emerge, the application field of additive manufacturing continues to expand. Initially, production tools, prototypes, and objects in small quantities were primarily produced. Now, the productivity of the printers and the quality of the products are so great that even serial production of components for consumer goods is economically viable.

      New Business Models

      An essential element for the democratization of production is 3D printing service providers like 3Faktur. This makes production more local, faster, and more flexible, especially for SMEs and startups, but also for everyone else. New companies and business models are also emerging in the field of 3D model development and provision and in the software sector.

      Process Chains

      3D printing also has an impact on global process chains by shortening them and re-regionalizing them. This brings production closer to the point of consumption. Regionalization and decentralization will also make it possible to respond more quickly to changing customer demands. Storage will also become almost unnecessary as products will be manufactured when needed. “Old” process and supply chain for global mass production of physical goods: “New/Shortened” process and supply chain for locally produced individual goods:


      Closely connected with the regionalization and shortening of process chains is the possibility of producing more sustainably. In almost all steps of the 3D printing process chain, 3D printing makes a noticeable contribution to sustainability:
        • Pre-production: Hardly any tools required.
        • Production: Partially drastic reduction in the number of components.
        • Inventory management: Less material consumption, less logistics required.
        • Product design: Weight and shape optimization, reduced energy and material consumption.
        • Service and maintenance: Spare parts are manufactured when needed, reducing inventory and maintenance of components significantly.

      3D printing is in the process of revolutionizing the way production is carried out. Its impact goes far beyond pure production and also affects areas such as product design, logistics, inventory management, and service. Furthermore, additive technologies also have a noticeable influence on the workforce.
      About 3Faktur: 3Faktur is a specialist for 3D printing, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing. We work with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion process and offer different materials for prototyping and serial production. If you have any questions about your project, please feel free to contact us.

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