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3D Printing makes headway into US manufacturing

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3D Printing makes headway into US manufacturing

New report outlines opportunities and disruptions of 3D Printing

3D printing (3DP), also known as additive manufacturing, is showing signs of triggering transformations in U.S. industrial manufacturing, from product design and production to restructured supply chains, according to a report released today by professional services firm PwC US in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute.

The report, which includes findings from a survey of over 100 industrial manufacturers, revealed that two-thirds (67%) of manufacturers surveyed are currently implementing 3DP either by experimenting with the technology or by already using it for prototypes or final products. One in four respondents said they plan to adopt 3DP in some way in the future.

"Two-thirds (67%) of manufacturers surveyed are currently implementing 3DP either by experimenting with the technology or by already using it for prototypes or final products."

"Applying 3DP for rapid prototyping is nothing new for many manufacturers as it enables them and their suppliers to sidestep the often laborious and costly traditional processes," said Bob McCutcheon, PwC's U.S. industrial products leader. "However, we're starting to see signs that the technology is on the cusp of becoming mainstream, and companies need to understand the disruptions and the opportunities that it could create. There are core questions all manufacturers ought to be asking themselves if they're looking to implement a 3DP strategy that could potentially expand their business and makes them more competitive in the marketplace."

Benefits of 3DP
3DP can accelerate new product development cycles, which ultimately could translate into getting new products to market more quickly and frequently, especially when prototyping complex products. According to the survey, 25% of manufacturers are currently implementing 3DP technology for prototyping only, 10% are using 3DP for both prototyping and the production of final parts, and only one percent is using it for final production.

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