My colleague Sal Spada wrote an article on new developments in the additive manufacturing space. Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, involves joining materials to make objects from a 3D model, usually layer upon layer. In contrast, much traditional manufacturing has been subtractive; Lathes, saws, and boring tools cut materials down to make a product.
There has been some breathless coverage of 3D Printing’s impact on the supply chain. In the supply chain realm is has been speculated that additive manufacturing could be able to transform the spare parts supply chain. The idea is that instead of carrying a plethora of slow moving parts across a network of warehouses, these warehouses could just manufacture the parts as needed.