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3D Printing Blog

Driving Growth and Cutting Costs with 3D Print Manufacturing

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With the cost of money spiraling right now it’s no surprise that management teams the world over are looking for innovative ways to driving growth at the top line while cutting costs and improving cash flow. For product based businesses, if there is one class of manufacturing technology that holds immense potential for delivering just that, it is additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing. 

No longer just for prototyping, market adoption of 3D printing is mushrooming, with the global additive manufacturing market size now projected to reach $83.56 billion by 2030 – a CAGR of 21.2% from 2022. 

Here are six key ways we’ve seen our own customers adopting the technology at scale to positively impact their business models. Could one or more of these approaches help your business to do the same?

1. Reduction in stock holding, liberating cash flow

One of the most significant advantages of additive manufacturing is its ability to produce parts on-demand. Longer lead times associated with many traditional manufacturing processes often mean maintaining large inventories to meet fluctuating demand. Large order volumes are often also needed to make unit pricing stack up. With 3D printing though, you can manufacture components as needed, eliminating the need for the stockpiling of parts and/or finished goods. This reduction in stock holding translates to significant cost savings and frees up cash that can be reinvested into other areas of the business.

2. Rapid design modifications for product innovation and cost reduction

In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, agility is paramount. Additive manufacturing enables quick and cost-effective design changes, allowing you to optimise product designs for both manufacturability and cost efficiency. With 3D printing, prototyping and testing of various design modifications is quick to achieve. This ensures that your products are both functional, competitive, while also being cost-effective to produce, enabling you to move from concept to production quickly.

3. Nearshore manufacturing to reduce lead times 

As global supply chains face increasing disruptions and uncertainties, many companies are re-evaluating their manufacturing strategies. Additive manufacturing offers the flexibility to “nearshore” production, bringing manufacturing closer to end users and distribution hubs. By decentralising production and reducing reliance on distant suppliers, you can both significantly shorten lead times, freeing up the “cash” that would otherwise be sat in shipping containers. Supply chain resilience, can also be improved, for when those containers get stuck in a canal! The adoption of 3D Printing for your most carbon intensive parts or products may also have significant benefits in any carbon reduction related targets you are working towards, especially when considered as part of a full LifeCycle Assessment (LCA).

4. Profitable production at lower volumes

More traditional manufacturing processes often entail high setup costs that require long production runs to make unit costs viable. This often makes small-batch production economically unviable. However, additive manufacturing excels at producing complex components in low volumes, all with minimal setup costs. This capability enables you to cater to niche markets and customer segments profitably, unlocking new revenue streams and market opportunities.

5. Adopting mass customisation for competitive advantage 

Innovation is key to maintaining a competitive edge. Additive manufacturing empowers you to not only innovate rapidly, but also gives you the freedom to create unique and custom designs and novel product configurations that might previously be unattainable in a commercially attractive way. Harnessing the full potential of 3D printing technology could be the key to further differentiating your offerings and driving top line growth by capturing market share or even opening up new market segments entirely that would previously have been unprofitable to target.

6. Minimising downtime with on-demand change parts

Beyond direct part production, additive manufacturing can also be the key to innovating across your production processes. By enabling the rapid design and deployment of, for example, custom tooling, jigs, and fixtures – bespoke solutions can be deployed to deliver workflow efficiencies or minimise downtime. Indeed, where parts for equipment in your production line are expensive and/or hard to source,  leveraging 3D printing for tooling and fixtures can streamline operations, increase up-time and throughput, while driving down unit costs, all enhancing your bottom line.

The adoption of additive manufacturing presents smart leadership teams with a unique opportunity to drive business transformation and create tangible value for their organisations. By embracing this technology, you can streamline operations, enhance agility, and unlock new avenues for growth and innovation. As you chart the course for your company’s future, consider the profound impact that additive manufacturing can have on your business model and financial performance. Embrace the possibilities, and position your company for success in the era of Industry 4.0.



The team at Midlands 3D have guided many of our customers on this journey and would welcome the opportunity to help you too.

Why not get in touch for a no-obligation chat and let’s see how we can help.