Will 3D printing facilitate urban industrial growth?
3D printing may offer a new solution for manufacturers and retailers looking to deliver last-mile products more quickly and at lesser expense to the company, according to an article penned by real-estate firm CBRE.
The technology only accounts for 1% of all manufactured products in the U.S., but the global market for 3D printed goods is expected to grow to $21 billion by 2020, the firm reports. Hearing aids are an example of a successful, 3D printing based supply chain according to CBRE, as a Deloitte report estimates there were 15 million such products in circulation as of 2013.
The company estimates manufacturing firms in Manhattan, and other tightly packed urban zones can use the technology to their advantage as they will be able to move production to office spaces, which are more widely available than industrial zones.