Will 3D Printing change the way we buy things?

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3D printing could just change the way we look at things, it could also change the way companies manufacture products. Just think of the possibilities that this could open, and the industries that 3D printing could bring to an end! Imagine this, a 3D printer at home, an item that you like online, you purchase the item, download it, print it, and that’s it. You don’t have to drive somewhere to get it, you don’t have to wait for it to ship. Isn’t that going to save you money?  isn’t it going to change the way companies work? isn’t it going to change the way companies price their items?

Acoording to this article in HBR, “As applications of the technology expand and prices drop, the first big implication is that more goods will be manufactured at or close to their point of purchase or consumption. This might even mean household-level production of some things. (You’ll pay for raw materials and the IP—the software files for any designs you can’t find free on the web.) Short of that, many goods that have relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralized plants will be produced locally. Even if the per-unit production cost is higher, it will be more than offset by the elimination of shipping and of buffer inventories. Whereas cars today are made by just a few hundred factories around the world, they might one day be made in every metropolitan area. Parts could be made at dealerships and repair shops, and assembly plants could eliminate the need for supply chain management by making components as needed.”

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Also, the idea of a do-it-yourself manufacturer is really coming to the forefront. Similar to the way the Internet leveled the playing the field, solving the challenges of reach and enabling everyone to play, that’s what is happening with manufacturing today. you don’t need all of the capital involved in the creation of things anymore. You now have the opportunity at a small scale, even as a hobbyist, to do it yourself, and to do it fairly eloquently.  With 3D printing being applied to materials ranging from chocolate to cells to concrete, and being used by corporations, departments and consumers, organizations need to understand how the future of 3D printing manufacturing technology can be used for a  for competitive advantage – before their competitors do. According to CSC,  a global leader in providing technology enabled business solutions and services.

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