3D Printer Solutions

3D-Fuel Advanced PLA 3D Filament Choose from 2.85 or 1.75mm and 10 colors

3D-Fuel Biome3D Printer Filament Available in Natural and four colors 1.75mm and 2.85mm

3D-Fuel Buzzed Beer Filled 3D Filament

3D-Fuel Entwined Hemp Filled 3D Filament

3D-Fuel Wound-Up™ Coffee Filled 3D Filament

Dyna-Purge® 3D-Clean™ 3D Printer Purging Material use between colors or filament types

3D Printer Solutions is operated by Carl Powell, III of CP3, Inc.  Located in Huntsville, AL, 3D Printer Solutions sells the 3D-Fuel brand of Filaments

Sign up for the latest news, offers and styles

3-D printing takes shape

McKinsey uses cookies to improve site functionality, provide you with a better browsing experience, and to enable our partners to advertise to you. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this Site, and how you can decline them, is provided in ourcookie policy. By using this Site or clicking on OK, you consent to the use of cookies.

Private Equity & Principal Investors

Private Equity & Principal Investors

Sustainability & Resource Productivity

Sustainability & Resource Productivity

Meeting Societys Expectations

Our mission is to help leaders in multiple sectors develop a deeper understanding of the global economy.

Our flagship business publication has been defining and informing the senior-management agenda since 1964.

Our team of 2000+ innovators bring new ideas, solutions, and services to our clients.

Our learning programs help organizations accelerate growth by unlocking their peoples potential.

Additive manufacturing is evolving quickly. Senior executives should begin preparing for five disruptions that will accompany it.

3-D printing,or additive manufacturing,11.Additive-manufacturing techniques build objects layer by layer, rather than through molding or subtractive techniques, such as machining.has come a long way from its roots in the production of simple plastic prototypes. Today, 3-D printers can not only handle materials ranging from titanium to human cartilage but also produce fully functional components, including complex mechanisms, batteries, transistors, and LEDs.

The capabilities of 3-D printing hardware are evolving rapidly, too. They can build larger components and achieve greater precision and finer resolution at higher speeds and lower costs. Together, these advances have brought the technology to a tipping pointit appears ready to emerge from its niche status and become a viable alternative to conventional manufacturing processes in an increasing number of applications.

Should this happen, the technology would transform manufacturing flexibilityfor example, by allowing companies to slash development time, eliminate tooling costs, and simplify production runswhile making it possible to create complex shapes and structures that werent feasible before. Moreover, additive manufacturing would help companies improve the productivity of materials by eliminating the waste that accrues in traditional (subtractive) manufacturing and would thus spur the formation of a beneficial circular economy (for more, see Remaking the industrial economy). The economic implications of 3-D printing are significant: McKinsey Global Institute research suggests that it could have an impact of up to $550 billion a year by 2025.22.For the full McKinsey Global Institute report, seeDisruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy, May 2013.

The advantages of 3-D printing over other manufacturing technologies could lead to profound changes in the way many things are designed, developed, produced, and supported. Here are five 3-D printing disruptions that senior executives should begin preparing for.

Reducing time in product development was a key benefit of the first 3-D printing machines, which were designed to speed the creation of product prototypes (and in some cases helped reduce turnaround times to a matter of hours, from days or weeks). Now many industries are poised for a second wave of acceleration as the line between additive and conventional manufacturing blurs.

For example, additive manufacturing is already being used to get prototypes into the hands of customers faster, for quicker and more detailed feedback. (This is happening thanks to advances in printer resolution, higher-definition coloration, and the broader use of materials, such as elastomers, that help customers envision the final product.) The ability to make prototypes without tooling lets companies quickly test multiple configurations to determine customer preferences, thus reducing product-launch risk and time to market. Companies could even go into production using 3-D printed parts and start selling products while the traditional production tools were still being manufactured or before the decision to produce them had been made. When companies did order those tools, they could use additive-manufacturing techniques to make them, saving even more time and money.

We expect that the use of such techniques will contribute to significant reductions in product-development cycle times over the next decade. (For example, 3-D printing makes some aspects of day-to-day R&D work, such as producing simple lab apparatus, vastly more productive.) Over time, 3-D printing will begin to affect how companies think about R&D more broadly, given how the technology enhances the ability to crowdsource ideas through remote cooperation. For some companies, that crowdsourced brainpower might one day begin supplanting R&D activities, making its management a new priority.

As of 2011, only about 25 percent of the additive-manufacturing market involved the direct manufacture of end products. With a 60 percent annual growth rate, however, that is the industrys fastest-growing segment. As costs continue to fall and the capabilities of 3-D printers increase, the range of parts that can be economically manufactured using additive techniques will broaden dramatically. Boeing, for example, already uses printers to make some 200 part numbers for ten different types of aircraft, and medical-products companies are using them to create offerings such as hip replacements.33.For example, the Mayo Clinic uses 3-D printed hip-joint modelswhich are based on patient CT scansto run practice surgeries. Later, the models are sent to a manufacturer that produces custom implants.

Nonetheless, not every component will be a candidate for the technology and reap its benefits (cost reductions, performance improvements, or both). Companies should understand the characteristics that help determine which ones are. These include components with a high labor-cost element (such as time-consuming assembly and secondary machining processes), complex tooling requirements or relatively low volumes (and thus high tooling costs), or high obsolescence or scrap rates. Forward-looking manufacturers are already investigating ways of triaging their existing parts inventories to determine which hold the most potential.

Additive-manufacturing techniques also have implications for manufacturing-footprint decisions. While there is still a meaningful labor component to 3-D printed parts, the fact that it is lower than that of conventionally manufactured ones might, for example, tip the balance toward production closer to end customers. Alternatively, companies could find that the fully digital nature of 3-D printing makes it possible to produce complex parts in remote countries with lower input costs for electricity and labor.

A related area that executives should watch with interest is the development of the market for printing materials. The cost of future materials is uncertain, as today many printers use proprietary ones owned or licensed by the manufacturer of the printing equipment. Should this change and more universal standards developthus lowering pricesthe implications for executives devising manufacturing strategies and making footprint decisions would become very significant very quickly.

Additive-manufacturing technologies could alter the way companies add value to their products and services. The outsourcing of conventional manufacturing helped spur companies such as Nike to rely more on their design skills. Likewise, 3-D printing techniques could reduce the cost and complexity of other kinds of production and force companies to differentiate their products in other ways. These could include everything from making products more easily reparable (and thus longer lived) to creating personalized designs.

Indeed, reducing the reliance on hard tooling (which facilitates the manufacture of thousands of identical items) crea
tes an opportunity to offer customized or bespoke designs at lower costand to a far broader range of customers. The additive manufacture of individualized orthodontic braces is just one example of the potential of these technologies. As more such offerings become technically viable, companies will have to determine which are sufficiently appealing and commercially worthwhile. The combination of mass customization and new design possibilities will up the ante for many companies and could prove very disruptive to traditional players in some segments.

In certain parts of the value chain, the application of additive manufacturing will be less visible to customers, although its impact may be just as profound. A key challenge in traditional aftermarket supply chains, for example, is managing appropriate inventories of spare parts, particularly for older, legacy products. The ability to manufacture replacement parts on demand using 3-D printers could transform the economics of aftermarket service and the structure of industries. Relatively small facilities with on-site additivemanufacturing capabilities could replace large regional warehouses. The supply of service parts might even be outsourced: small fabricators (or fabs) located, for example, at airports, hospitals, or major manufacturing venues could make these parts for much of the equipment used on site, with data supplied directly by the manufacturers.

Of course, retailers too could someday use fabsfor example, to let customers tailor products such as toys or building materials to suit their needs. That business model could represent a value-chain play for manufacturers if, for instance, they owned the machines, core designs, or both.

Design is inherently linked to methods of fabrication. Architects cant design houses without considering construction techniques, and engineers cant design machines without considering the benefits and limitations of casting, forging, milling, turning, and welding. While there is a wealth of knowledge around design for manufacturing, much less is available on design for printing. Our conversations with executives at manufacturing companies suggest that many are aware of this gap and scrambling to catalog their design know-how.

Getting the most out of additive-manufacturing techniques also involves technical challenges, which include setting environmental parameters to prevent shape distortion, optimizing the speed of printing, and adjusting the properties of novel materials. Indeed, tuning materials is quite a challenge. While plastics are relatively straightforward to work with, metals are more difficult. Slurries and gels (for example, living tissue or the material for printed zincair batteries) are extremely difficult.

The most successful players will understand these challenges. Some are already creating centers of excellence and hiring engineers with strong experience in additive manufacturing.

Many benefits of 3-D printing could cut the cost of market entry for new players: for example, the use of the technology to lower tooling costs makes it cheaper to begin manufacturing, even at low volumes, or to serve niche segments. The direct manufacturing of end products greatly simplifies and reduces the work of a designer who would only have to take products from the computer screen to commercial viability. New businesses are already popping up to offer highly customized or collaboratively designed products. Others act as platforms for the manufacture and distribution of products designed and sold online by their customers. These businesses are gaining insights into consumer tastes and building relationships that established companies could struggle to match.

Initially, these new competitors will be niche players, operating where consumers are willing to pay a premium for a bespoke design, complex geometry, or rapid delivery. Over the longer term, however, they could transform industries in unexpected ways, moving the source of competitive advantage away from the ability to manufacture in high volumes at low cost and toward other areas of the value chain, such as design or even the ownership of customer networks. Moreover, the availability of open-source designs for 3-D printed firearms shows how such technologies have the potential to create ethical and regulatory dilemmas and to disrupt industries.

Daniel Cohenis a consultant in McKinseys New York office,Matthew Sargeantis a consultant in the Stamford office, andKen Somersis a master expert in the Antwerp office.

The authors would like to thank Michael Chui and Markus Hammer for their contributions to this article.

What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages

What can we expect in China in 2018?

What AI can and cant do (yet) for your business

Please sign in to print or download this article.

Please create a profile to print or download this article.

Create a profile to get full access to our articles and reports, including those by McKinsey Quarterly and the McKinsey Global Institute, and to subscribe to our newsletters and email alerts.

Select topics and stay current with our latest insights

About Ultimaker

Snow Business: 3D printing final parts for high-value snow machines

Volkswagen Autoeuropa: Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures

Tucci Hot Rods: 3D printing final custom car parts

Driven by technology, inspired by people, and passionate about creating genuinely meaningful innovation, Ultimaker is a unique team of talented engineers, developers, and forward-thinkers.

FABtotum 3D Printing

Hydra: Industrial and Professional 3D Printer

3D Printing Filaments and Materials

CNC and Rapid Prototyping Materials

The 3D printing company: professional and multipurpose 3D printers

The Worlds First Personal Fabricator.

Change the Head, change the function: One Box, Endless Projects.

A Multipurpose Tool for Professional Use at an Affordable Price.

3d printing, CNC Milling, laser engraving

YourAll-In-One 3D Printerfor All your Needings.

Worlds First Ever Operating System for 3D Printing.

User Friendly. Stable. Open Source. Free.

A FABTOTUM PERSONAL FABRICATOR CAN

3D Prints all materialsat High Resolution: the FABtotum Core opens up to an endless number of ideas and projects. Find out more aboutPrinting HeadandPrinting Head PRO.

You can cut and engrave using theMilling Headand theFABtotum CORE. Work many different materials like Wood, Aluminum, Brass and Copper. Make Molds, Finished parts or PCB prototypes.

From 3D Printer toLaser Engraverin a few seconds: withLaser HeadoraLaser Head PROa FABtotum Core can help thepersonalization of products, whether it is a prototype or a personal object.

Imagine arapid prototyping machine, built from the ground up to create almost anything.

Imagine a set of tools for making different objects withdifferent techniques.

Imagine starting from physical objects or digital designs and a smart3D printing softwarethat can follow you everywhere.

In a world of boring 3D printers one idea canMake the Differenceand leap beyond immagination.

Im restraining myself from using Exclamation points

This box is capable of a pretty impressive array of maker activities

Architecture, Engineering, Design, Jewellery, R&Dand more. The FABtotum Core PRO is the useful tool for prototyping or showcasing your works. Developed to bescalable and flexible, it adapts to your daily workflow and fits nicely in your office.

Are you a 3D Designer? A 3D Modeller? Then a FABtotum is TheAll In One Printeryou need! Make More objects in different materials, use solid objects as a base for your 3D editing work or use the scanned items in your work.

The FABtotum Core is the bestHome 3D printer, its makers best friend!PCB milling, design and manufacturing is now easy, cheap and fast. Quickly prototype your ideas, make plastic, wooden, paper or metal components!

Learn how designers, makers and manufacturers are using 3D printing all over the world.

I have read and accept the Privacy policy.

FABtotum ™ S.R.L. . ALL Rights Reserved.

Via Solferino, 1, Lodi 26900 (Italy)

Via Paullo 3/a, Tribiano 20067 Milan (Italy)

VAT / P.IVA: REA LO – 1475185 Capital Stock: 23.752 €

Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to know

when the FABtotum 3D Printing Head PRO

I have read and accept the Privacy Policy*

Sign up to receive thelatest news about 3D printingand be the first to hear aboutnew productsand ourspecial promotion.

I have read and accept the Privacy Policy*

Please enter your email address to receive a coupon code.

[mc4wp_form id=118840]

ZVerse Inc

Start with the information you have to create professional 3D files and models.

Upload your file and work with experts that can help get it ready for production.

Upload your file to get a range of prices in a range of materials.

Get More Customers for Your 3D Printing Service Bureau with Content Marketing

Visualizing Your Design is Easy for Your Architecture Clients

How to Choose a Meaningful Donor Gift

How to Use 3D Printing to Create Visual Evidence for Court Trials

Reasons Why Homebuilders Architects Should Use 3D Printing

Personalization is Why 3D Printing Will Win

ZVerse develops user-friendly applications that automate the production of 3D printable content for businesses. Our software, LAYR, gives anyone the ability to offer professional 3D modeling and high-quality 3D print services. To learn more, contact us today.

New 3D Printing Consulting Company

You must belogged into post a comment.

The Marine Corps are looking at new technologies to help them fight, even asking for submissions in a new…

New 3D printer technology is giving designers the ability to make custom bathroom layouts that would of been very…

This new printer by Loop3D has a clearing mechanism so you can have constant prints without having to touch…

How one individual says he has the 3D printable car patents that will change the world for the better….

This uplifting idea can give children and adults the ability to customize their own prosthetic limbs. Click here to…

From October 3rd to 5th, there will be a additive manufacturing conference held in Barcelona, Spain. For more information,…

Even with all the major feats accomplished by 3D printing, books are still somewhat of a challenge. Click here…

Here is a company trying to make a liver with 3D printed cells. Click to read the article.  Source:  Photo…

Login/Register from your social media account

This Company Would Like To 3D Print Your Next Car

Giving Your Bathroom A 3D Printed Makeover

Also visit our members forums to discuss various topics relating to the world of 3D Art.

BMW invests in start up metal 3D printing company

New industrial 3D printer with closed loop motor control

Breakthrough in 3D printing blood vessels

Athletes are now learning how to use 3D printers to help them train

Okay the newsletter is not actually 3D but it includes a lot of cool content regarding the world of 3D modeling and printing. Get up to date 3D news on the latest products, technology, software and equipment.

Youll also get to check out work from our various members and rate them based on their skill and originality. Our newsletter contains no soliciting and you can cancel at any time!

Were not around right now but if you want to send us a quick message well get back to you ASAP.