Is 3D Printing the Future of Post-Crisis Manufacturing?

3D printing

3D printing

3D printing has the potential to change the face of manufacturing globally.

The effect of COVID-19 has demanded all industries across the world to rethink and revisit their strategies to revive the business. Its impact on companies, regardless of types and sizes, is tremendous. The manufacturing industry has profoundly affected by the pandemic as it has either delayed or shut down operations. Now as organizations are returning to reopen business activities, they are taking major preventative steps and leveraging advanced technologies.

3D printing is one such technology that is gaining rapid momentum in the midst of the pandemic. It allows on-demand solutions for a wide spectrum of business needs ranging from personal protection equipment (PPE) to medical devices and isolation wards. In manufacturing, 3D printing has already started revolutionizing various manufacturing processes.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, consists of rapid prototyping and production of a three-dimensional solid object from a computer-aided design model. The broad spectrum of applications of this technology in response to COVID-19 is enabling manufacturers to create on-demand solutions.


3D Printing and Manufacturing

Recent advances in 3D printing, equipment and materials have resulted in the reduction of costs, making it a more feasible technology for manufacturing use. The accelerated impact of digital manufacturing has already given a wide range of production applications, especially across the automotive, industrial, and medical sectors. In the automotive industry, the last couple of years have seen an enhanced focus on developing production-grade materials for automotive applications as 3D printing moves from prototyping to full production of final parts and products.

As traditional manufacturing processes have had to cope with the ever-growing demands of customers but it has some limitations, 3D printing steps in to take over those requirements. It delivers a number of exciting and unique advantages when compared with traditional manufacturing.

There is no wonder that 3D printing can transform the way conventional manufacturing functions, making it possible for manufacturers to consider short-run part production and enabling production teams to launch new products more frequently. 3D printing is evolving and growing faster than ever thanks to its impact having on manufacturing processes and is assisting companies to perform to a higher level.


3D Printing and Its Impact on Future Manufacturing

3D printing is able to not only recuperate manufacturing but also reinvigorate the traditional workforce in the coming years. The technology is helping companies to fight against COVID-19. For instance, Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based 3D printing company, is working with numerous healthcare systems, government agencies, and regulatory bodies to design, prototype and clinically assess various items such as swabs and test kits, respiratory masks, among others.

On the other hand, the Volkswagen Group used 3D printing processes to create and donate thousands of face shields and holders, masks and other medical equipment for frontline workers and hospitals in Germany.

Comprehensively, 3D printing will have a positive impact on the manufacturing of tomorrow post the COVID-19 pandemic. This will expedite manufacturing processes at a rational cost and derive more ROI for manufacturers.