3D Printing Benefits and Selected Examples

3D Printing Benefits and Selected examples

Proof Point

3D printing technologies can help companies evolve end-to-end manufacturing lines, addressing continuously evolving customer needs and improving capital efficiency

3D Printing Benefits and Selected Examples

Proof Point Findings

  • Localization – Bring manufacturing closer to consumers, reducing logistics requirements and improving customer experience
  • Adidas to open high tech manufacturing facility “Speed Factory” enabled by robotics and additive manufacturing techniques in Georgia, bringing production closer to U.S. customers, reshoring jobs, and reducing manufacturing and shipping time
  • General Electric, which invested nearly $40 million in new additive technology center, Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA), printing everything from jet engine blades to oil valves, started reshoring appliances manufacturing business to Appliance Park facility in Kentucky in 2012
  • Complicated designs – Work on product designs with increasing complexity, without compromising quality
  • La Enoteca Spanish restaurant creates complicated food designs using 3D food printer Foodini from Natural Machines
  • Italian manufacturer Gruppo Meccaniche Luciani developed intricate designs of footwear, fashion top, and bag using Stratasys’ Object500 3D printer
  • Rapid Prototyping – Iterate designs easily, speeding up product development and time-to-market
  • Ford prototypes car parts (e.g. cylinder heads, brake rotors, shift knobs, and vents) in five 3D prototype centers in U.S. and around world
  • General Motors diminished prototyping time in producing parts of 2014 Chevrolet Malibu
  • Musical instruments manufacturer Fender 3D printing prototypes of amplifiers and new guitars in-house, accelerating innovation and product development
  • Finnish food manufacturer Saarioinen 3D prints prototype bottles, testing them for durability prior to mass production
  • Customization – Design products with greater flexibility, offering personalized products that address continuously evolving customer needs and demands
  • American Pearl lets customers design own jewelry from choice of metals, gems, or diamonds while company 3D prints them and delivers finished product within 3-4 days
  • EnvisionTEC customizes hearing aids and prosthetics to individual patients, allowing for better fit and enhanced usability
  • Candylicious in Dubai sells customized candy to customers in under five minutes
  • On-demand production – Manufacture products on as-needed basis, enabling stockless inventories and eliminating oversupply risk
  • Air New Zealand 3D prints specialized cocktail trays on-demand to business class customers, reducing replacement stock and manufacturing costs
  • NASA uses Beehex food 3D printer to create pizzas, eliminating need to stock big portions of food in space
  • Lower cost – Reduce production cost, including raw materials, infrastructure, and labor costs, improving capital efficiency
  • Ford printing prototype engine cover for Ford Mustang taking only four days for $3,000, instead of spending four months and $500,000
  • First 3D printed office building in Dubai built at half cost of traditional construction methods
  • Chinese company Winsun 3D printed mansion at 50-80% reduced labor costs


Business Model and Practices

Business Model
and Practices


Industrial Manufacturing


Date Last Updated

September 11, 2017

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