Supply Chain Management and the Role of 3D Printing Digital Inventories –

Because the additive manufacturing (AM) business grows past its humble roots as a speedy prototyping expertise, it has been adopted by a number of the world’s main corporations to supply not solely jigs and fixtures, however even finish elements—in some instances to the tune of tens of millions of items per yr. Subsequently, at this level in its evolution, the theme of the sector isn’t a lot about hurdles to adoption or growing the correct enterprise instances. These are particulars which have been rehashed endlessly within the prior period of AM’s improvement. As an alternative, we ought to be taking a look at the place 3D printing goes subsequent.

Since COVID-19 revealed the myriad points related to globalized logistics networks, the theme for 3D printing has change into its use as a form of provide chain insurance coverage for producers. Not solely can AM act as a stopgap in emergency situations (see GM’s disaster adoption of 3D printing for an SUV rollout), however manufacturing of products closest to their level of use and on demand may completely cut back dependance on lengthy, advanced, and distant provide chains.

In flip, the following step for AM isn’t how you can enhance price and effectivity in order that main firms can use it at scale. That’s already occurring. The subsequent step is how it is going to be built-in into current logistics networks. To get a greater sense of what that will appear to be, we’ll dive into the bigger provide chain administration (SCM) corporations and the AM suppliers finest suited to instantly match into their operations.