How 3D Printing Responds to Modern Manufacturing Challenges

The 8 Reasons Why Product Development Will Never Be the Same


Discover the changes in society, technology, the environment and the world economy that are raising the profile of 3D printing. See how 3D printing is ably responding to the challenges of our times.

Although the technology behind 3D printing has been extant for two decades, in recent years the importance of 3D printing for manufacturing and product development has been amplified. The increasing familiarity and popularity of 3D printing has moved from strictly industrial or highly technical contexts to smaller businesses and design houses. It even exists at the individual level for product development entrepreneurs or amateur “makers.”

Trends in manufacturing, encompassing everything from changes in consumer personalization of products to a greater awareness of manufacturing‘s environmental responsibilities, have created further positive opportunities for growing the utility of 3D printing. Shifting demographics and worldwide wealth, including the global impact of the recent economic downturn, are also changing how, why and when manufacturers bring products to market. Consumers have a greater voice than ever before, as social media and social networking allow for immediate feedback and rapid refinement of products.

By bringing personalization and influence to consumers through product development, whether from their own homes, small office environments or outsourced print shops, 3D printers are giving discerning customers more control of what manufacturers will create and cutting the time it takes to bring products to the marketplace. As the interest in 3D printing continues to grow, its technology - already leaps and bounds ahead where it was just 10 years ago - is developing apace.

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