Supply chain, logistics and inventory go 3D with additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing — popularly known as 3D printing — has been touted as the next big thing in manufacturing, but its impact will soon be seen in supply chain management.

Additive manufacturing — the creation of product parts or components from a digital 3D model — has gotten a lot of attention lately, and rightly so: It’s one of those ideas that’s simultaneously wildly innovative, and yet glaringly obvious.

Indeed, with the benefits of additive manufacturing causing a stir in manufacturing, and, therefore, in supply chain management, 2017 is looking to be a breakout year for the technology.

No longer a clever parlor trick for creating action figures and novelty items, additive manufacturing is poised to take on a serious role as a manufacturing alternative worldwide. In 2015, the additive manufacturing industry grew to $5.165 billion, representing a growth of nearly 30%, according to “Wohlers Report 2016.

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