Top 8 Ways 3D Printing will be Disruptive


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This column is by Marketer & Author, Michael Spencer

One obvious future trend that I don’t hear being talked about enough is how 3D- printing is going to disrupt business, healthcare, manufacturing, clothing apparel Retail and more. I recently saw a Ted Talk about a woman who 3D printed her own fashion shoot, while the clothes were primitive, you can tell just how close this is on the cusp of happening. How 3D printing will disrupt the food industry a bit further off, is going to be even more life-altering.

The idea that the products in the future will be downloadable, like music is today, seems shocking, but will seem completely natural not too far from now. The convergence, a pre-singularity stage is basically starting circa 2016.

If retail isn’t preparing for this, a lot of people are going to be losing their jobs pretty soon. Retail already has a reputation for being late technology adopters, as one can witness in how slow some stores are to adopt a cloud POS system. We already know that in the next 10 years manufacturing will be nearly totally robotized.  When 3D-printing gets a bit more mainstream, the world is going to start to realize just how major a shift this is going to be. I’ve selected some unique lenses of how to view this coming disruption. Feast your imagination on this.

As a consumer, as an amateur futurist and a tech watcher, I’m convinced 3D printing will become mainstream very fast, since its benefits are so intimate to how we interact with the world and how capitalism will be evolving along with Fin-Tech.

1- Sustainable automation of manufacturing. Less transport, less logistic chains, smaller job force required, longer life span of products, more customization to consumers. Fewer unsold products.

2- Mass production revolution, with the ability to disrupt the following industries: Electronics, Automotive, Food, Military and Food. Also ability for self-learning AI to self-engineer.

3- Making the home high-tech with consumer printers, house goods, toys, tools, customized downloads of blueprints, likely a $70 billion industry by 2030, According to research firm Strategy Analytics.

4- Accelerated Prototyping. Think about it, everyone including your grandchild, will be invention new products that will be downloadable. Prototyping will become so fast, consumers themselves and not retailers will govern the process in the future. With drone delivery, you can imagine the number of startups this will result in. Completely disrupting how capitalism works basically. AI will facilitate breakthroughs in prototyping so rapid, nobody will be able to keep up but the true fanatic.

The get to market times, speed of distribution, will be so cost efficient, just the idea of shopping and paying money for something will begin to seem ridiculous. Those that can distribute the raw materials and digital blueprints will be the true winners. Who wants clothes made by people in China with horrible working conditions that aren’t even custom made to fit us?

5- Low volume production. With this tool, hyper customizing will actually make sense. The cost of production will be hacked to such an extent that we won’t have to exploit the poor workers of other countries to get goods on the market. Shopping will be more creative and ethical, maybe humanizing the ugly side of capitalism a bit. “Made in China” tags will become a rare collector’s item. Countries with big populations may be more vulnerable to this disruption however, places like China, India, etc.

6- Virtual inventory. Holding inventory (of product or spare parts) will no longer make sense. Speed of this technology will be the key. It will be print on demand (PoD) all the way. This will increase efficiency and automate Ecommerce, making such things like warehousing, insurance, shrinkage and obsolescence a lot less relevant.

7- Innovation Renaissance. Imagine a world where everyone is a “maker” and a potential crafter, inventor and coder of new products. Gen Alpha, will be engineer just by the tech at their disposal. Creating our own complex and useful products will be part of our leisure time activities, family activities even. The first phase will be current Retail disrupting capitalism with 3D-printing, but that stage won’t last long. Customer centricity ultimately means people downloading their own products and printing them at home. The idea that there were once stores and people who exploited other people for profit, will seem archaic.

8- Predictive Production.  The astonishing increased efficiency, will mean even what you want will be for the most part AI automated. Your virtual personal assistant (VPI) will even be able to do the designing and search for the downloadable blueprint that corresponds to your needs, giving you products (via predictive analytics) you need before you even realize it you’d like one.

Disclaimer: This is a curated post. The statements, opinions and data contained in this column are solely those of the individual authors and not that of iamwire or its editor(s). The article was originally published by the author here

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