3D Printing and the Future of Supply Chains

DHL's Logistics Trend Radar, identifies 3D printing as one of the major disruptive trends to impact the logistics industry in the near future, creating instant production and distribution models. By DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

June 11, 2017

Science fiction is fast becoming science fact as 3D printing begins to make inroads into manufacturing, from product design right through to the production floor.

From engineering to automotive to healthcare, companies are recognizing that 3D printing presents an opportunity to ‘do things differently’.

It allows us to profoundly rethink the way we create and manufacture products, as well as fundamentally reassess the design of supply chains.

In our Logistics Trend Radar, we identified 3D printing as one of the major disruptive trends to impact the logistics industry in the near future.

We believe this is due to the immense potential for 3D printing to create instant production and distribution models, essentially enabling companies and consumers alike to print complex objects within the confines of a single printer.

Of course, not all products and parts can and will be 3D printed.

Therefore it will be essential to understand early on where 3D printing will be advantageous to your manufacturing and supply chain strategies.

To support you in assessing the implications of 3D printing, this DHL trend report provides insights and answers to the following key questions:

  • What is the current state of 3D printing and how is this technology being applied?
  • What competitive advantages can 3D printing offer to your organization?
  • What are the crucial success factors for the widespread adoption of 3D printing?
  • What are the opportunities for 3D printing in your future supply chain?

Looking ahead, we anticipate change from 3D printing that is both broad and deep, specifically in areas of spare parts manufacturing, individualized parts manufacturing, and end-of-runway 3D printing services.

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