How 3D printing will cut costs for businesses

Image: How 3D printing will cut costs for businesses

The noise that surrounds 3D printing is nothing new. Revolutions to manufacturing in everything from science to racing are being touted, yet what will advancements in 3D printing mean for the office? The potential for budget saving is vast. The presence of a manufacturing device in the office alone could completely change the market for traditional repairs and tweaks. Here are some of the ways 3D printing could well save money for businesses:

First and foremost, a major way in which costs in the office could be altered is through dealing with repairs. In the future, a broken piece of office furniture could be dealt with on site on the same day through printing already-available templates. The costs this could cut are obvious. Delivery is completely cut out of the process, and prices would no doubt be cheaper. Furthermore, there are obvious practical benefits this would bring, as well as the financial savings.

Personal supply chain
Depending on the sector, a 3D printer within the workplace could completely change key aspects of a business. Such an addition would essentially be a fully-fledged supply chain in the office, and with this comes endless potential. In the past, models and products for prototypes would have to be outsourced, particularly for small to medium enterprises. Obviously, with such outsourcing comes large costs. A 3D printer allows a firm to manufacture their own models and prototypes—just one example of the cost cutting a personal supply chain via 3D printer could bring.

Cheap trial and error
In a similar respect to the last point, a 3D printer allows businesses to try things that would be deemed too financially risky in the past. To elaborate, expensive modelling and outsourcing would most certainly hinder innovation. For example, a design agency can now play around with designs and ideas, and due to the cheap nature of 3D printing (after the initial outlay) there are no financial ramifications for trial and error. This could a game changing cost cutting element, as innovation is the life blood of a business.

Personalised branded products are a huge industry for businesses. They must be worried by the surge in 3D printing over the past few years and the seeming inevitability that the devices are going to find their way into our offices. 3D printing is already more than equipped to produce a wide range of plastic and ceramic products - the basis of most personalised business products. A situation could well arise where businesses start to produce everything from branded pens, nametags and mugs all in house on their 3D printing device. This alone would save a healthy chunk of a yearly budget, something which managers would most certainly welcome, not to mention the endless personalisation potential of this new tech.

When do you expect to see a 3D printer in your office? Let us know on Twitter @altodigital

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