3D Printing to wipe out almost one quarter of world trade by 2060
3D printing is still in its infancy. For now it has very little effect on cross-border trade. This will change once high speed 3D printing makes mass production with 3D printers economically viable. The first technical steps have already been taken.
3D printing will lead to less trade growth because 3D printers use far less labour, reducing the need to import intermediate and final goods from low wage countries.
It is tricky to define the exact potential of 3D printing, but some experts expect a share of 50% in manufacturing over the next two decades. Tentative calculations show that, if the current growth of investment in 3D printers continues, 50% of manufactured goods will be printed in 2060 in scenario I, with this figure possibly being achieved as
early as 2040 in scenario II in which investment doubles every five years.
This is estimated to wipe out almost one quarter of world trade by 2060 under scenario I (or two-fifths by 2040 under scenario II).
Automotive, industrial machinery and consumer products are the industries that, as a result of 3D printing, will take the lead in suppressing cross border trade These industries are top investors in 3D printers and are large players in world trade. Read more
On October 4, 2017, the 3D Printing Content Conference topics will also include the role of 3D Printing in changing value chains. Stefan Rink from Shapeways will discuss how 3D printing is now preparing to make the logistics of manufacturing far easier – Read the interview. For more information about the conference and registration visit https://www.3dcontentconference.com/