Medicine has been one of the pioneering areas of 3-D printing, which itself is one of the most significant current developments in manufacturing. The technology could revolutionise products, reshape value chains and change business models. With more than 200 start-up companies developing commercial and consumer-oriented 3-D printers, the impact on conventional manufacturing, which accounts for approximately 16% of the world's GDP, could be tremendous.
- Some larger companies are already requiring suppliers to use 3-D printing.
- 3-D printing will target the aerospace, automotive, medical device and electronics industries.
- 3-D printing could prove most valuable in remote locations or scientific expeditions, where supply costs are highest.