3D Printing on the Horizon: Can You Spot the Trend?

Like this? Share it.TwitterFacebookGoogle+ReddittumblrbufferEmail

3D Printing Trend

Peter Goldmark is a former budget director of New York State and former publisher of the International Herald Tribune, headed the climate program at the Environmental Defense Fund. Mr. Goldmark weighs in on the 3D printing movement on Long Island Newsday.

It’s hard to spot a trend before it happens, and trends in technology are harder to decipher and predict than eating habits. But on our horizon is one powerful new technology, still in its birth pangs, that will revolutionize large parts of our production economy. It’s called 3D printing. It’s just starting to be talked about more in the media now; I learned about it from a friend who is advising one of the young companies in the field. Enthusiasts say this is coming at us like a freight train — but, in its early days, it looks very hard to me to tell how fast this train is moving.

He sees the implications as revolutionary as we do.

Think of where this may ultimately lead. What happens to the factory or the assembly line? What happens to the comparative advantage of China and other emerging countries where cheap labor and manufacturing underpin their entire economies? What happens to manufacturing jobs period, in any country, if all a computer operator has to do is input the specs of the desired item to a 3D replicator?

3D printing will spell the end of inventory as we know it. And at the most basic level, it will change the meaning and operation of that most fundamental law of business: economies of scale.

While he admits he doesn’t know when the technology will become mainstream, he does provide a warning.

It’s not too early for Walmart, or the Teamsters, to start worrying.

Here’s a video showing the latest in 3D printing.


Read the full post at Newsday.

Trend commandments photo by Michael Covel used under Creative Commons license.

Like this? Share it.TwitterFacebookGoogle+ReddittumblrbufferEmail

3 Responses to 3D Printing on the Horizon: Can You Spot the Trend?

  1. John Phillips says:

    You guys have no idea what you are talking about. 3D Printing has been around for a long time but it will never replace tradition high volume or large part manufacturing. Its too slow and too expensive. 3D Printing has hit the top of the hype curve (look it up) and soon will be returning to where it belongs as a prototyping tool used in the product development process. These DIY printers are slow and build poor quality parts with low resolution at best. High end 3D Printers cost 10′s of thousands of dollars for a reason.

    • Mike says:

      @john I can only imagine what you said about the internet when it first popped up… If you take a few moments and (look it up), you’ll find that 3D printing has advanced quite significantly since its inception and like any other emerging technology, price point will decrease and quality will increase with greater investment as it gains momentum. Hype has passed but the fact that it is still garnering this level of attention (especially from government/defense, see National Network of Manufacturing Innovation and major corps like GE, EADS and Airbus) IMHO, points to this being a disruptive technology of the very near future. Only time will tell I guess, but I think you’re being a bit shortsighted.

  2. on3dprinting says:

    @John are you saying there is no role for 3D printers? There is a gap between high volume manufacturing and low volume mass personalization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>