A recent detailed report released by DHL speculates that 3D printing will lead to both broad and deep changes to the industry.
DHL has been testing a variety of both 3D printing hardware and techniques for several years and has identified applications that have the potential to redefine manufacturing and supply chain strategies. While the 3D printing market is estimated to grow between US$180 billion and US$490 billion by 2025 , the report however finds it will not become a substitute for mass-production but a complementary process. Companies are recognizing that 3D printing presents an opportunity to ‘do things differently’ – we can now profoundly rethink the way we create and manufacture products, and fundamentally reassess the design of supply chains.
Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, said: “The DHL Trend Report ‘3D Printing and the Future of Supply Chains’ recognizes 3D printing as a transformative technology. However, it is not a magic bullet that will render factory mass production and manufacturing obsolete. Its exciting potential lies more in its capability to simplify the production of highly complex and customizable products and spare parts – and this could bring logistics and manufacturing closer together than ever before.”
Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation and Trend Research, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, said: “Not all products should, can or will be 3D printed. But encouraged by opportunities for greater customization, less waste, and more localized manufacturing and delivery, companies across many industry verticals are showing increasing interest in using 3D printing. A recent survey revealed that 38 percent of companies anticipate using 3D printing in their serial production within five years but not necessarily to completely replace traditional manufacturing . We believe 3D printing will have the most impact in the medium term on logistics in spare parts and individualized parts manufacturing.”
Find the full study here for a deeper look into the subject of 3D printing.