As part of the broader Smart Industry, 3D printing is developing into a highly useful
alternative for product development and is also a relevant factor in existing manufacturing industry. Organizations need to take action now and 3D printing needs to be top-of-mind at management level in order to ensure that the added value of this technology is clear throughout the organization.
Wolter Kersbergen and Roger Quaedvlieg from PwC have held talks with than 20 companies in the wider manufacturing industry on how they are using 3D printing. This was coordinated from the ‘Multi-material 3D printing’ field lab’ – part of the nationwide Smart Industry initiative – to which they are affiliated. Wolter and Roger spoke to these companies about the challenges they face and the growing awareness of the potential and value of 3D printing. The aim of the research is to accelerate the adoption of 3D-printing by the industry. Wolter and Roger Hope that their White Paper ‘Beyond prototyping: accelerating the business case for 3D printing’ will contribute to achieving this.
A recent study conducted by Strategy& (part of PwC) reveals that the market for 3D printing products and technologies is set to grow to €22.6 billion by 2030. Currently, 18% of manufacturing companies are using 3D printing, and this figure is set to exceed 30% by 2023. These statistics show that companies will need to think hard about how they intend to successfully integrate 3D printing into their business models.
Most companies are aware of the advantages of 3D printing. These include design freedom, the fact that it is now technically possible to produce complex designs within a reasonable budget, a minimum batch size of one unit and a high level of flexibility within production until just before the point of use. However, many companies are postponing the move towards actually applying 3D printing as a production technology. In many cases, only part of the organization is aware of the possibilities. As a result, the added benefit for the entire value chain is often ignored and the true potential of this technology remains hidden.
The talks produced interesting insights into issues faced by companies in the process of making optimum use of the full potential of 3D printing. As is the case with many new digital technologies, 3D printing is about more than technology alone. This makes it the perfect subject for discussion at management and administrative level. How disruptive will 3D printing be and how will it transform the business model? To help companies with this, the White Paper includes a number of questions to assess where they are now and where any issues may lie. These questions, combined with the step-by-step plan, can help companies to unleash the potential of 3D printing.
The link to white paper ‘Beyond prototyping: accelerating the business case for 3D printing’