For someone who hasn’t been demonstrated, 3D printing sounds almost impossible, or nearly futuristic. It’s just like the meals that come out in an oven in just a click; some find it hard to believe. But technology seems to be always surprising. It is straightforward. It began from a little evolutionary step from spraying toner on paper to putting down layers of something more substantial until the layers add up to an object. And amazingly, by enabling a machine to produce objects of any shape, right on the moment and as needed, 3-D printing really is really opening a new era.
As applied technology continues to expand and prices going down, there is an implication that more goods will be produced nearly to the point of purchase or consumption. This can mean household-level production of some things. Also, products that have depended on the scale efficiencies of large, commercial plants will be produced close by.
If the per-unit production cost is higher, it will all the same be more than offset by the removal of shipping and of buffer inventories. Vehicles of today are made by just a few hundred factories all around the world, but now there’s a possibility that one day, they can be made in every local area. Parts could be made at dealerships and repair shops while assembly plants could eliminate the need for supply chain management by making components that are needed. That would be good news, wouldn’t it?
The great shift of wealth and jobs over the past two decades may have seemed a critical tipping point. But this new 3D printing technology will revolutionize again how the world leans.