Well, it cannot be denied that the consumer goods industry has been flourishing in the last 10 years. And 3D printing in consumer goods has proved to be of significant value. Starting from the ability to create customized products to the faster development of cycles, the consumer goods companies and retailers are using 3D printing to remain competitive while capitalizing on the ever-changing, consumer-driven market landscape. With 3D printing being adopted by a wide range of brands, here are the 5 ways 3D printing in consumer goods can have an impact in the industry.
Starting from personalized headphones to custom footwear, the term customization is being used by anyone and everyone at present. Irrespective of the hype, the customization is one of the most important benefits of 3D printing, especially in a consumer-driven market place. Along with traditional manufacturing, starting from producing custom products for a wide range of applications to creating unique products for specific applications, there are intensive labor costs. However, with 3D printing, custom goods can be designed and produced in a much better and cost-effective way because it is not inhibited by the expensive tooling costs.
2. Better freedom from design
With the option of customization, it has been possible to avail much better opportunities for product development. At present, the creation for a wide array of geometries has been possible with the help off 3D printing in consumer industry. This would have been otherwise been too costly if the traditional methods were used. The capability to produce complicated internal and external structures has led to innovative products like 3D printed shoes, bikes with optimized strength and functionality as well.
3. Faster time to market
With the help of 3D printing, it takes much less time to market products. 3D printing doesn’t require any form of tooling, thus the prototypes can be made in a much quicker way which would have otherwise taken a long time to produce. Multi-material 3D printing can also be used by retailers which are also a part of the design validation phase. This is to create functional prototypes along with a final product look. The possibility of having multiple iterations with 3D printing has increased and this is why the development cycles can be fastened while ensuring better flexibility. 3D printing can also be used for modifying existing designs, enabling retailers to have a personalized fit for the customers at the point of sale.
4. Ensuring better supply chains
It is true that 3D printing can help in reducing the storage and inventory costs as well. 3D printing in consumer goods is such a technology that has the potential in transforming the supply chain management for the retailers. With the possibility of on-site and made to order process, the companies can ensure much better efficiency within the supply chains while reducing warehouse and the logistics cost.
This is yet another important feature in the 3D printing process that works additively by adding layers of materials for creating a part, unlike the traditional subtractive manufacturing technique. In this 3D process, the 3D printing can reduce a lot of material waste and this is what makes the manufacturing process much more sustainable. Nike has shown the potential for waste reduction by implementing 3D printing in Flyknit shoes.