3D printing creates a ‘Circular Economy’- this means the process aims to “eradicate waste not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components” (McKinsey).
The standardization of 3D printing technology will bring about extensive alterations to the current economic landscape the world over. By this, I not only agree with Jephias Gwamuri in his article but the fact remains that this will displace millions of jobs all over the world – especially in developing countries, where this kind of technology is a necessity. Its quite an ironic probability. It all comes down to how the transition from traditional manufacturing to 3D printing technology will be so as to minimize the impact it will have on related industries.
It will most definitely be a great advantage to have for rural communities. Costs of medical, educational and agricultural projects can be made affordable with the help of different types of 3D printing technology. One type that particularly peaked my interest is the ‘solar powered 3D printer’. By operating the device off-the-grid, the technology can serve its purpose in remote locations where electricity is lacking. Small instruments can be produced on demand and can be cost-effective plus it minimizes time involved in sourcing these products and delivering it to its destination.
Some aspects to cover for sustainable 3D printing is its dependence on fossil fuels and its significant energy consumption. But between traditional manufacturing and additive manufacturing waste produced is comparably lesser.