Transforming the Future of Supply Chains Through Disruptive Innovation

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the umbrella term for technologies that fabricate products by building up thin layers of materials from three-dimensional, computer-aided designs. A subset of these technologies, 3D printing builds objects on machines that “print” successive layers of materials such as molten plastic.

By · November 8, 2011

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the umbrella term for technologies that fabricate products by building up thin layers of materials from three-dimensional, computer-aided designs. A subset of these technologies, 3D printing builds objects on machines that “print” successive layers of materials such as molten plastic.

3D printing has evolved rapidly over recent years. Now it is being used to create product prototypes and to manufacture certain specialized items. From a supply chain perspective, however, the most exciting applications are in finished product manufacturing, where the technology is slowly gaining ground.

If 3D printing becomes a common feature of large-scale manufacturing operations, the technology will have a huge impact on all phases of supply chain management. Companies will find it much easier and more cost-effective to make customized items in limited quantities. Global networks of 3D printing installations will give enterprises the ability to respond rapidly to shifts in market demand and to introduce new products quickly and inexpensively.


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Finding Agility in your Workforce: Are you prepared to meet the next market shift?
Logistics companies need every advantage available to them to be a vendor of choice and remain competitive
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management market, and in marked contrast to 2016, paints a rosier outlook for career placement and advancement.
Is Your Tractor Trailer Yard a Black Hole?
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...

ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...