How RPA is to ERP What 3D Printing is to Manufacturing | UiPath
Peter Villeroy is Director of Global ERP and Service Automation Practice at UiPath.
While 3D printing was originally developed in the 1980s, it has exploded in popularity and headline-grabbing prominence in the last few years.
As a quick overview, 3D printing is a common term for what is known in the industry as additive manufacturing. Initially used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing later became an economically viable way to manufacture small, low-volume production parts that didn’t warrant the cost of specialized tooling, or to provide replacement parts that were needed after the end of serial production.
In the last decade or so, the technology to create 3D printers became mature enough to produce consumer versions and put 3D printing in the hands of individuals. Seemingly overnight, a large base of do-it-yourself (DIY) users began to produce spare parts, toys, novelties, and even weapons.
3D printing enthusiasts create their own online forums where they can discuss new ideas or share designs with likeminded community members. This collaborative approach contributed to the organic growth of even more specialized ideas, such as—if you can believe it—3D-printable 3D printers!
As the potential use cases and applications for 3D printing grow, companies in a wide range of industries (not just manufacturing) are looking for new ways to create even more business models and opportunities around this technology.