Current trend shows that Manufacturers are in-sourcing or reshoring the components. They are trying to take control of supply chain as reliable and low-cost manufacturing techniques like 3D printing, give them consistent processes and a harmonized approach to scale operations rather than relying on 3rd party partners.
3D printing however does have its own set of challenges. It suffers from slow operating speed, mechanical defects in products and limited material choices (mostly Plastic). Due to slow operating speed of 3D printers, manufacturing companies might lose out to competitions with inefficient go to market strategy. Additionally, poor perception due to lack of consistency in 3d printing techniques will affect the company’s acceptability. Limited products variety in 3D printing will affect the scale and scope of the operations as well. With a plethora of 3D printing techniques available it would be critical for the business to select the right one to gain the first movers advantage before it is too late.
The critical KPIs that are currently needed in 3D printing technology are speed, consistency and variety. Carbon 3D technique tries to address each of these parameters. It is 25 to 100x faster than traditional 3D printers and its revolutionary techniques of additive manufacturing (growing things without stopping) instead of layering techniques gives the material incredible strength and consistent mechanical properties which results into superior product quality. The most differentiated characteristic is probably the fact that these techniques can be applied from polymers to plastic.
Let us look into the fundamental value chain in manufacturing a new commercial product. It starts with designing, then the design is given reality into prototyping and prototyping is scaled for commercial use after manufacturing. In most cases, a new technique fails in prototyping, And scaling the prototype into commercial use is difficult.
One of the critical components of any new technology like this needs to show its commercial applicability across industries. It can be used in areas where speed, consistency and variety are of utmost importance. For example, stent replacement in arteries, where mostly standardized products are used. This technique can be used to provide differentiation as patients will use individual stents according to one’s biological need.
Let’s wait and watch where the use of this path breaking technique happens in future – from making jet engines to Hollywood’s special effect props.