Digital manufacturing—industrial 3D printing particularly—has catalyzed world-changing concepts since its inception. This 12 months, nevertheless, the expertise proved invaluable, shifting at warp-speed within the face of unprecedented challenges when the world was overtaken by a fast-spreading virus.
When conventional provide chains failed, workforces have been displaced, economies bordered on recession, and the sustainability of ecosystems and communities was threatened, digital manufacturing was there. 3D printing supplied a fast resolution for manufacturing disruptions, produced private protecting gear (PPE) close to the hospitals that wanted it, created robust aggressive benefits for enterprise of all sizes, and thru the sharing of open-source design recordsdata, solid deeper ranges of collaboration.
For our future, this expertise performs an indispensable function: Digital manufacturing is charting a wholly new course, driving one of many greatest transformations of our lifetime. The benefits proven in 2020 affirm its endurance in an more and more unsure world, and seeking to 2021, 4 key traits will likely be vital for corporations.
Impenetrable Agility and Financial Development
Lowered tooling prices. Much less downtime. Reasonably priced customization at scale. Quicker velocity to market. Almost limitless iteration capabilities. Through the first months of the pandemic, these hallmarks of digital manufacturing not solely obtained PPE into the palms of distressed medical workers in mere days but in addition allowed corporations, on the top of financial disruption, to maintain their lights on and proceed planning for the longer term. Analysis from McKinsey International Institute discovered that 85 p.c of C-suite executives witnessed accelerated digitization and automation of their companies this 12 months.
HP surveyed hundreds of producing executives in key areas throughout the globe up to now a number of months about what their corporations have skilled and the place their consideration is targeted for the longer term. Roughly 4 out of 5 respondents intend to extend 3D printing investments for a similar causes the expertise was so relied upon this 12 months—the flexibility to extend agility and unlock development at a larger capability than conventional manufacturing.
Ask anybody within the manufacturing trade what makes digital manufacturing invaluable, and they’re going to undoubtably agree: Its means to drive innovation. Firms are in fierce competitors for patrons’ consideration and loyalty—a reality that’s solely heightened by COVID-19. Profitable each calls for a personalised method.
Direct-to-consumer fashions, on-demand manufacturing and streamlined digital inventorying permit for mass customization by way of digital manufacturing, which is nice information contemplating 91 p.c of HP’s survey respondents need to leverage mass customization as a method to discover innovation. The fast adoption of this expertise throughout industries from automotive to shopper items to healthcare is a transparent signal amongst enterprise leaders that 3D printing allows sooner innovation and extra shopper centricity.
Know-how Constructed for Collaboration
Early 2020 was characterised by atrophied provide chains. Individuals have been scrambling for masks. In some instances, two sufferers have been dangerously related to 1 ventilator. At this vital juncture, 3D printing allowed corporations to collaborate like by no means earlier than.
3D printing recordsdata moved freely throughout borders, have been tailored in a single day and have been put into manufacturing virtually immediately. Small companies, companies, governments and universities should work collectively to make sure these much-needed paradigm shifts turn out to be an enduring actuality. Eighty-five p.c of respondents to HP’s survey stated collaboration throughout sectors to embrace new digital manufacturing applied sciences is vital for what’s to return.
Digital expertise galvanized a producing motion that COVID-19 pushed into excessive gear, and going ahead, partnerships will likely be vital for extra sustainable useful resource use, extra equitable provide chains and extra revolutionary merchandise.
Implicit Sustainability and Scalability
Shoppers are redefining how they interact with the world’s finite useful resource, and companies should adapt shortly. Digital manufacturing ensures that sustainability and resiliency are key elements of future-ready methods. The identical traits that make 3D printing a car for agility and innovation additionally make it a scalable resolution for simplifying provide chains and probably prolonging the lifetime of merchandise, all in service of a extra round financial system and a greater future for everybody.
The manufacturing trade helps whole economies and ecosystems, and the insights revealed throughout his difficult time demand our consideration and accountability. What COVID-19 highlighted aren’t merely solutions on change administration. They’re foundational pillars in a fast-moving world—a world that may solely proceed to demand extra artistic options. If there’s something this 12 months has taught us, it’s that digital manufacturing is the innovation of a lifetime. We’ve solely simply begun to find and show what it could do.
Concerning the HP Digital Manufacturing Report
The HP Digital Manufacturing Report is a worldwide examine by HP Inc. It was performed by SME Media/Analysis throughout three continents and 9 geographic areas together with Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the UK, and the U.S. Fieldwork was performed from July 28 – August 11, 2020 throughout 2,175 3D printing and digital manufacturing determination makers.