The Future of Traditional Manufacturing – 3D Printing Technology

The fast-pacing of the environment because of the rapid change on the industry of technology has
caused the change of people’s way of living. From the 90’s to present, we could easily see the impact of technology from then and now. From simple, traditional living to complex, sophisticated and “hi-tech” living.

3D printing technology is the product of continuous effort to simplify living in the most efficient and
cost-effective manner. The desire of human to constantly improve life and well-being leads them to the idea of 3D printing technology. The use of 3D printing increases efficiency, reduces waste making it a valuable tool to make manufacturing more sustainable. The application of this technology ranges from medical devices to aerospace, to even drinking water.

The benefits of 3D printing technology ranges from the environmental and economic benefits having the potential to transform traditional manufacturing through cost reductions, energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions according to a paper published in Energy Policy. The 3D printing can decrease the costs of manufacturing by $170 billion to 593 billion, energy use by 2.54 – 9.30 exajoules (EJ) and CO2 emissions by 130.5 to 525.5 metric tons by the year 2025, the paper says. The range forecasts may be caused by the immature state of the technology and the associated uncertainties that may arise on the development of the market.

The 3D printing at its very nature is a sustainable technology that empowers 3D Sytems printers to yield affordable products efficiently. Compared to traditional manufacturing, it lessens the waste that may arise from the traditional manufacturing of a product. Because 3D printing technology manufactures from bottom to top, it uses the one layer approach making use of only the necessary materials for production.

The co-founder of 3D Hubs – the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 3D printers, And Bram de Zwart told that 3D printing is expanding into more applications: “everything from tissue printing in the biomedical industry to custom metal part production in the aerospace industry and everything in between.”

Also, the Senior Analyst who leads Lux Research’s Advanced Material Research told the Environmental Leader that 3D printing makes manufacturing more sustainable by bringing three major factors. 3D printing is more efficient in terms of material consumption; it allows manufacturers to make structures using lightweight materials that aren’t possible on traditional methods; and lastly, it simplifies the supply chain and logistics.

“3D printing turns the traditional industry supply chains on its head. It allows different entities to do the production of the finished part, cutting down on transportation and logistics, which definitely has a benefit,” Kozarsky says.

Based on the story Is 3D Printing the Future of Sustainable Manufacturing? by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle