Creating New Jobs: the Impact of 3D Printing
This is a guest contribution by Egor Driagin, CMO at Top3DGroup
Nobody wants to lose their job. However, experienced workers are sometimes replaced by AI. The gap between those who know how to use new technologies and those who don’t is constantly widening. This causes social polarization, poverty, and frustration.
3D printing has impressive abilities that can play a role in making new jobs.
Demand for Experienced Workers and Salesmen
3D printing gives the means of manufacturing to independent artists, designers, and engineers. The possibilities for a new sector of services are emerging, they have different added value. Digital manufacturing automates the majority of existing processes, but it also offers new prospects. For example, just one person can now be both a manufacturer and a salesman.
Since consumer-oriented solutions will be becoming the norm, 3D printing will find new use cases. And that’s where the significant progress in employment will come to play.
This is good news for those who are already looking for a job. Especially for people who can’t work with intensive traditional manufacturing but have great soft skills. According to various researchers, people aging from 40 to 50 have better problem-solving and communication skills than those who are barely over 20 years old.
Helping Innovators Create Jobs
If there is no job, in the ideal world it would be easy to create one. In any place, from urban city centers to industrial districts one can find people that are attracted to new things. The Internet and mobile devices already helped them significantly.
But they should ideally have access to various tools that will help them create and manufacture. People and startups that create new jobs should have the tools for prototyping and mass production using additive technologies.
Making It Easier to Enter the Market
One of the biggest obstacles for entrepreneurs would be closing the gap in time between prototyping and manufacturing. Many Kickstarter campaigns failed just because they couldn’t accurately calculate the cost price of the product
3D printing will be a ‘bridge’ between a concept and manufacturing. It will eliminate the borders between them: just because only one tool will be used from start to finish of the production cycle.
The production system will turn from an exclusive tool into something that can be used by any business without large costs. This will naturally help to scale the production. As time goes, the business would only need to buy the required equipment doing it in a fast-paced fashion.
From Industry Units to Distributed Production
Net effects of the future of production look impressive. The time between design and manufacturing will be significantly reduced. As well as the costs: no need to do A/B testing or equipment revamping. Shipment costs will also plummet since the product can be made close to its destination instead of a distant factory. The term “minimum order quantity” will cease to exist, since the parts can be produced in low batches or even as single units. This will significantly reduce production costs. And if an upgrade is needed, it will be done with a simple change of a file.
The startups will stop worrying about production and distribution. They will just design and then start mass production in a wide-area network. This is called lean production. This is a global network of local production clusters that can scale in real time according to the individual needs or the needs of small and mid-sized businesses. It will bring new things to a global market.
Good News for Businesses of any Size
Global networks and lean production offer various opportunities for businesses of any size. Quick returns, small-cap funds and low risks look great in the balance of any business. The age of lean production means that local companies that were once ineffective will get a new life.
These changes in production open new horizons and opportunities to create new jobs.