Every week, articles are published proclaiming 3D Printing is going to radically change the way that the world works, with some going so far as to predict that we’re on the brink of a global manufacturing revolution.
While those of us who work in manufacturing might say that’s going a bit far, I think many of us are rightfully excited about the potential to harness this thirty-year-old technology in new and exciting ways to continue to drive efficiencies, accelerate prototyping timelines and bring customized end products to the market.
The challenge, of course, is the same as exists with the adoption of any new technology -- figuring out when it’s right for your business, how it can best be implemented and what barriers to adoption exist (ideally before you hit them). 3D Printing continues to be an expensive technology when it comes to industrial-grade equipment, making it a sizeable investment for companies who are interested in exploring it.
Like any new initiative, having a clear plan and asking the right questions at the outset can help pave a smoother path forward. Based on my experience in helping companies of all sizes, there are three key things to keep in mind as you evaluate whether 3D Printing is right for your business.