Additive manufacturing is meaningful when it empowers people to make better choices. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that AM can step up and provide meaningful solutions to emerging challenges. But so far, these solutions have not truly played to the strengths of the technology. The value of 3DP lies in being able to create things that no other manufacturing method can.
AM’s ability to customize, to print with fewer components and with less waste, means that it can ensure solutions that are socially inclusive and that operate with sustainability at their core. The key to a strong legacy for our industry is to continue finding meaningful applications that take advantage of these qualities and to bring a greater awareness to all that 3D Printing has to offer.
3DP is one of those digital technologies that can deliver short-term benefits, low-cost manufacturing, and low risk, but the entry point has typically come with a lengthy learning curve. Some companies started the AM adoption process ten years ago and are well-positioned to make greater shifts to the technology, but companies new to AM no longer have the luxury of time.