Will 3D printing transform business?

“3D printing could be as significant as the internet but there are uncertainties about the speed of change, according to a new ING report.

3D printing produces objects as a single piece by building them layer-by-layer; it contrasts with traditional mass production, which usually involves multiple parts that are then assembled. This revolutionary production method has already made significant advances in many sectors in recent years. Medical and dental devices and aerospace lead the way in 3D printer adoption. However, the much larger industrial machinery, automotive and consumer products sectors are currently responsible for the lion’s share of worldwide investments in 3D printers.

Companies in many industries are likely to adapt their business models in the coming years to accommodate greater use of 3D printing. However, until there are sufficient technological advances, 3D printing will not herald the end of mass production or prompt the widespread reshoring of supply chains, according to the new ING report 3D printing: a threat for global trade?.”

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