3D printing technology as the key to smarter growth

With 3D printing, the manufacturing industry can reduce the complexity of the production process and increase the functionality of products. Printing in three dimensions is already widely used in rapid prototyping. But the benefits are not only technical in nature. 3D printing is a so-called 'strategic enabling technology' within the Smart Industry concept, which influences all kinds of elements of your business. Are you well and prepared on time to achieve sustainable growth with 3D printing, achieve significant cost reductions and accelerate the digital transformation of your company?

The future of 3D printing: strategic insight

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Customization and reduced production costs

With 3D printing it is possible to produce high numbers fully customized 'one size batches' without increasing the costs per product produced. Manufacturing companies that use this approach at an early stage are creating a large, new market share. Another advantage of 3D printing is that physical production and the associated costs can be postponed. Because the product remains digital for longer, the 'time to market' can be significantly accelerated as well as respond more actively to sudden changes in market demand.

Local production and sharper inventory management

After many years of increased centralized production, 3D printing makes local production possible again. Producing closer to the customer leads to lower distribution costs among other things and makes it possible to respond quickly and flexibly to local needs. With the production of articles 'on demand', stock costs of products and components will also be able to drop significantly.

3D printing speeds up your circular strategy

Also the impact of 3D printing on the implementation of your circular strategy should not be underestimated. Production is closely tuned to the demand and takes place close to the buyers. Transport movements are falling, as is the need for storage capacity. And the printing method, in which material is built up layer by layer, means efficient material use and hardly any waste. The overall manufacturing scrap rate can drop dozens of percentages compared to the current level. The materials that are printed, such as plastic, metal and glass, can also be reused.

"3D Printing is more than a technological innovation. It is a technology that has an impact on your entire business and production chain. In addition, it creates new markets and business models. How? We would like to think about this together with you."

Roger Quaedvlieg, senior manager Innovation & Development

How can PwC support you?

Our specialists will gladly discuss with you the possibilities and implications of 3D printing for your company. We focus on the following topics:

  • If you produce more locally, this may lead to a decrease in import duties. And what influence do the changes in your business model and the geographical spread of your activities have on your tax position?
  • 3D printing will lead to major changes in your entire supply chain. How do you ensure an optimal balance between production speed and stock? And which steps in the chain can be simplified and skipped?
  • 3D printing offers new opportunities for developing products, processes and business models. Is the innovation function of your organization designed in a way that you make optimum use of the possibilities of 3D printing? And how can 3D printing be used in the product life cycle?
  • Digitization of the value chain means, among other things, that your data management is becoming increasingly important. How do you ensure that your IT systems, including aspects of security & privacy, are ready for 3D Printing?
  • 3D printing can support your circular strategy. Local printing saves raw materials, reduces emissions and creates local employment. How will you deliver more customer value more sustainably?

Metals 3D printing: Closing the cost gap and getting to value

Although 3D printing has captured imaginations everywhere and is moving toward the mainstream in making plastic components, it has yet to take off in mass production of metal parts. However, we believe this is changing rapidly. We expect metals 3D printing to disrupt many existing manufacturing processes and to become a fundamental part of how metal products are made in the digital age.

Read more about Metals 3D-printing on Strategy&

The future of Multi-Material 3D Printing

PwC is one of the strategic partners in the Smart Industry Field Lab for Multi-Material 3D Printing. This Field Lab is a strategic open innovation platform in which participants work on the next generation of 3D Printing solutions based on multi-material applications. Which business impact will this specific next generation 3D printing solutions have? PwC investigates this from a holistic approach with a focus on the underlying business case for individual companies and the sector in general. Other partners within this Field Lab are TNO, Admatec, ECN, HTSC TU / e, Nextdent, Philips Lighting, Océ and DoMicro.

3D printing technology as the key to smarter growth

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Contact us

Roger Quaedvlieg

Senior Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 32 35

Wolter Kersbergen

Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 28 59

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