In a previous post* I assumed that 3D printing, general naming for additive manufacturing techniques, will revitalize strategic business analysis.
In this series of posts, I’d like to invite people in charge or with influence on strategy to reconsider their business with the new possibilities offered by 3D printing.
The incredible pace of innovations among which many real disruptions with 3D printing may surprise unaware business owners. On the positive side, they are many new possibilities to rethink and expand business. On the negative side, one may be put out of business by unexpected new competitors or shift in technologies or a combination of all.
What is it all about?
Additive manufacturing is totally different to traditional manufacturing. Material is “printed” thin layer after thin layer in simple or complex shapes and various materials until the finished 3 Dimensional part is finished on the printer’s bed. Those parts can even embed printed full functionally moving parts, like gears or ball bearings.
Traditional manufacturing cuts away material from a bigger rawling and usually requires many steps and different resources to get the finished part.
The advantages of additive upon traditional manufacturing are already tremendous and everyday new breakthroughs are reported.
Additive manufacturing needs no costly moulds nor toolings, fixtures or jigs, it does not even need skilled workers to operate the machines.
3D printing does not require minimum batch sizes, a tremendous advantage for short lead time and low inventories.
3D printing parts allows changes on the fly, which is top for highly customized production, inventory reduction, quick response to quality issues, and so on.
From this short list, by far not complete, everyone can sense the competitive advantages offered by these new technologies.
Now, it’s time for everyone to assess the current business with additive manufacturing in mind.
In the next post I’ll introduce SWOT analysis: Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.