If its potential goes mainstream, it might have the same impact as apps have had. Let’s start with the first reason, legacy industries.
Apps have turned the taxi industry into a foreign concept through Uber. It has also turned the media industry less relevant through social media.
Iconic companies like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter deliver information faster. Why get information from the New York Times when you can get real-time information from experts and other outlets.
3D printers have the advantage in speed and costs. The first industry it’ll change is the manufacturing industry. Instead of paying a large sum of money to a big manufacturer. People can just use “printing farms” to manufacture what they want.
Other industries which will change include the automotive industry, real estate industry, and more. A lot of what’s man-made can be manufactured through 3D printing. Just think of the possibilities.
The concept of 3D printing changing everything around us will propel more products and innovation in the future.
3D printing makes the supply chain smaller, logistics faster, and allows manufacturers to bring their ideas to life quicker.
When all you have to do is order a printer online, set it up in an hour or two, and you’re ready to print, it’s only a matter of time before we see an explosion of production.
The feedback time for 3D printers is faster too. Prototypes can be printed in hours and producers can see if their product is viable.
For people who are trying to create something new, innovation benefits from faster feedback. You don’t know if something works until you try it.
3D printers give producers and innovators efficiency.
Disrupting technology creates new industries. The internet has enabled e-commerce, Software as a Service, digital marketing, and more.
All you need to look at is the iconic companies born from the internet to know this is possible. One industry 3D printers have created is 3D printed marketplaces.
3D printed marketplaces work similar to other marketplaces. In addition to selling 3D printed products though, 3D printer users can sell files to their prints.
These are just a few examples of new industries 3D printing has created. Over time, we’ll see new industries rolling out.
Platforms can give creatives all the tools they need to go direct-to-consumers. Now, this isn’t new, but 3D printers and its infrastructure allow for this.
A business can give a designer a 3D printer and wait for orders from other people. Once somebody orders, the platform can get the 3D printed design from the designer and ship it to the consumer.
Another business model is “Manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS)”.
MaaS is a service similar to Uber. You can order for something to be 3D printed somewhere near you assuming someone has a 3D printer near you and retrieve it once it’s done.
3D printers also play a big part in businesses requiring complex parts. It might be hard to buy that part off the market since it’s either hard to find, or expensive to buy. 3D printers fix this problem and create new opportunities.
It’s easy to see how an entrepreneur fits in all of this. They can buy a farm of printers and do MaaS, or sell files to their design.
Other ways entrepreneurs can get a piece of the pie is by providing accessories. Entrepreneurs who know how to code could create software that makes using 3D printers easier.
Other entrepreneurs can build a 3D printer. There are 3D printers out there that started as Kickstarter projects.
Since 3D printing is new, entrepreneurs can build educational tools to help people understand 3D printing. This is what Roborefuge and other websites are doing.
The mass customization ability of 3D printers makes it special.
More and more, companies are catering to consumers. From social issues to content, companies are consumer-driven.
The next step is customization. Asking questions like how will this serve this specific consumer? Or, what do we need to add to this product to make it special for a consumer?
Questions like these can be answered with 3D printers. Rare situations where a consumer needs a specific part in their guitar or shoes can be fixed with a 3D printer.
The return on investment for a 3D printer is a no-brainer. A $1,000 dollar printer can generate tens of thousands of dollars. Add in the fact that businesses don’t need to purchase special orders from manufacturers and we’re talking about thousands of more dollars saved having your own 3D printer.
Businesses that manufacture or require parts need to look into 3D printers.
3D printers will be a big part of the economy by transforming legacy industries, and creating new ones.
They’ll be in households and businesses around the world. From this, entrepreneurs and consumers will benefit. This will change the market cap for 3D printers and strengthen the momentum for 3D printing. Businesses will not want to miss out.