Compressed timelines from design to finished product accelerates adoption of new consumer products.
There will be less “big manufactured” goods. Specialty manufacturing will take some of that industry away. There will be less manufacturing jobs. If audiologists can print on site and on demand, what happens to the people in the hearing aid factory? Less shipping. Instead of placing the washer in the envelope and sending it, I (or my local hardware store) can print it when I need it.
Companies will keep lower inventory levels. The big, big, big, big MBA term is “supply chain disruption.” OK. That’s a fancy-schmancy way of saying “I don’t have to stock the washers for a 1956 Porsche.” Rapid prototyping. This term was used before. However, with the technology being more affordable, it means rapid sample orders as well. Firms can still place the order for 1 million washers to be produced in China. But I can get 1,000 washers to my biggest customer right away.
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