The popularity of 3D printing went skyrocket last years and the technology gets more and more accepted in business models of companies. Even though we are not exposed a lot to this technology it is already evidently present within divergent industries from manufacturing to the food industry 3D printing is already being used. However, what has 3D printing to do with the logistics industry?
Recently DHL already posted a news article on 3D printing and the impact of this technology on their business model and how it will change in the future even more. The reason why this technology will impact the world of logistics relies in the fact that production companies will create and manufacture a range of items in total new ways.
At this moment the 3D technology is crossing the chasm and becomes available for the early majority market and more mainstream. Companies using 3D printing as additive manufacturing which can ease the way to create complex designs and effortless customizable goods. This enables companies t to on-demand design and produce new products and seamlessly individualizing them to meet the needs of end users.
Mass customization and on demand printing inventory levels are likely to decrease as companies more change to build-to-order instead of order-to-build. Mass customization has already a huge impact on inventory control and delivery but due to the developments of 3D printing it will get even bigger and bigger.
In addition, what will happen if the majority of consumer goods will be printed at home? Companies just deliver customers the correct structure and codes and for example toys, food, screws can be printed directly at home. No delivery or logistics involved and you have your product within one hour or even faster.
Obviously this is a vision for further in the future but it is not unlikely to happen. What we don’t know 3D printing is already a huge market in the manufacturing industry and sooner or later will be more available for consumer market.
Food for thought!