3D Printers and the Future

The concept of imagining an object and having it materialize in front of you has defined the term “futuristic” for a long time; however, the future is rapidly approaching. The introduction of 3D printing has just begun to transform the market behind the scenes, but three-dimensional manufacturing is on the cusp of a full-on breakthrough. Within the next few years, 3D printers will be more affordable and more widespread, and they will change the process of running a business forever.

Small-Scale Production
While the price tag on a 3D printer is still out of range for many businesses, in the next few years they will only become more available and more affordable. This means that at some point in the not-too-distant future, smaller businesses or even individual entrepreneurs could be turning their ideas into three dimensional objects with ease. Expect an explosion of handy inventions and patents within the next five to ten years because of this. The 3D printer provides for limitless creativity; you won’t have to know how to build or assemble your product for your idea to come to life, because the printer does it for you.Create Products Quickly
The widespread use of the 3D printer will allow manufacturers to create their products in a matter of mere hours. This will not only make time constraints more manageable, but it will free up space in warehouses, because products can be created on an on-demand basis rather than an anticipatory basis. This means you can make exactly as many products as you need without worrying about over- or under-producing. This also eliminates the concept of overstock, so you can be sure that none of your products are collecting dust in a warehouse.

Less Energy, Less Waste
Although extremely useful and currently necessary, technology as a whole has been responsible for negatively impacting the earth’s environment and atmosphere. This prompts many companies to take environmentally-friendly initiatives, or “go green.” Fortunately, the 3D printer advances these green initiatives; manufacturing this way may dramatically reduce waste as well as utilize significantly less energy. 3D Printers are capable of making durable and efficient products while saving energy and the environment by using less raw material and emitting less carbon dioxide.

Cut Down Manufacturing Costs
The cost of the 3D printer should be looked at in comparison to the savings it offers. Printing three-dimensionally radically cuts down shipping costs, labor costs, and packaging costs. If raw materials can be created at the manufacturing site, there is no need to pay shipping costs, which add up to a significant expense. Cutting down on costs is an obvious benefit, because that leaves more room to comfortably manage your expenses and expand your business.

Customization
Many potential customers will see a product and consider the aspects that they like about it, but it will be the factors that they don’t like that prevent the sale from happening. With 3D printing, products suddenly become extraordinarily customizable. From small tweaks to additions, to your name embossed in the product, all it takes is an adjustment in the software and the customer’s perfect product can be created.

Well-Equipped Communities
Imagine you’re traveling and your car breaks down far from home. You take it to a local mechanic, but he doesn’t have the part you need; he can order it, but it will take a few days for it to arrive. In a world where each town or local community has access to 3D printers, that part can be created from raw materials in a matter of hours, and you can continue on your way without any major delays. On a larger scale, these three-dimensionally printed parts could come together at local assembly plants, and viola: Cars can be created in any major city. Replace cars with any other manufactured product that is typically imported, and the life-changing benefits of 3D printing become clear.

It is simply a matter of time before 3D printers change the way business is conducted. The power of production will be in the hands of smaller groups of people, and it may eventually establish itself as a household staple. 3D printers offer a quicker and less wasteful method of manufacturing; ideas come to life in a matter of hours, less energy is used to create them, and less carbon dioxide is emitted in the process. Production costs become minimal as manufacturing only requires raw materials and the software for your 3D printer. Products can even be customized to fit the exact needs of the consumer. All of these factors come together to endow each community that has a 3D printer with the ability to provide everything it needs to its members. Three-dimensional printing is on the verge of changing business, technology, and life itself forever.

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