The era of distributed manufacturing: How AM might be your savior.

News and Articles
June 21, 2024
The era of distributed manufacturing: How AM might be your savior.

Looking at Major Acquisitions

One metric to understand how a market is doing is by looking at some of the major acquisitions in the space. This exchange of money shows a top-level understanding of how viable the technology is. It also hints at which different industries are especially interested in the technology.

In this case, there has been a lot of motion in the world of additive manufacturing during 2021 — a year that crippled countless industries.

In just these three examples, you’ll notice major changes. One is a 3D printing company looking to get rid of a competitor in a highly competitive space. You can assume they understand the future of this industry.

Another is an AM company looking to make their product more desirable to the market. This highlights the potential money floating around.

The third is a manufacturer of 3D printers showing interest in expanding into operations-level improvements for their customers. We have to assume this means a future of more services offered by BCN3D.

How Are the Industry Leaders Looking?

Two of the biggest names in additive manufacturing are Stratasys and 3D Systems. Both of these companies are touting profits that rival their pre-pandemic bests.

That means that they’re not feeling the same supply chain impacts that the rest of the industries are. This truly speaks to the power of distributed manufacturing and how additive manufacturing is helping.

After all, their sales are indicative of different industries accepting AM and implementing their own 3D printing systems. Just as we predicted, AM growth forecasts have it wrong. We can expect to see AM take a more pivotal role in applications across different industries.

AM Aims to Solve Supply Chain Demands

One of the biggest disruptions in the past year has been on supply chains. Without fail, almost every industry has felt the impact of slower deliveries, a weakened workforce, and increased logistical costs.

While some companies simply accepted this crisis, others turned to new technology to help: additive manufacturing.

We’ve spoken a lot about how distributed manufacturing platforms can help your operation a lot. They offer lower shipping costs, faster lead times, and a simpler supply chain.

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing a need for this model in the market. This is where additive manufacturing really shines.

3D printers offer quick, low-cost solutions for small-batch production. Another redeeming quality is the fact that you can run a system of 3D printers internally. This cuts down even further on operational costs and lead times.

It also puts the power back in your business. You don’t have to accept the supply chain woes that are plaguing your competitors.

Additive Manufacturing is Expanding Across Industries

As we alluded to earlier, additive manufacturing is expanding. Not only are we seeing massive acquisitions and pivots this year, but we’re also seeing AM pop up in industries that never really embraced it.

Namely, high-value verticals are starting to use additive manufacturing to make up for the disruption of the traditional supply chain they used to use. Industries like marine, offshore, oil, and gas companies are using AM.

Protolabs conducted a survey that showed that nearly 80% of the companies in this segment were actively looking for ways to use AM. More specifically, they want to implement 3D printing in their JIT (just-in-time) and spare parts manufacturing.

It was a reaction to the unreliable supply chains we’ve seen.

What’s Next for Distributed Manufacturing?

What does this mean for distributed and additive manufacturing? Largely, it sounds like a new era is being ushered in.

Adopters are quickly seeing the benefits of breaking away from the previous complexities of a traditional supply chain.

Companies that have been involved in AM for a while are seeing huge paydays.

In addition, companies are also expanding what they use additive manufacturing for. What used to be a strictly prototyping technology is now being used for final production units.

The next steps involve implementing software that can help improve distributed manufacturing networks.


An example of versatile software to tie together these networks is Phasio. We give your operation the tools you need to succeed. We help our clients optimize print times, maximize the life of their filament, and save a ton of money in continued operations. Reach out today and see how you can benefit from Phasio’s software.

Additive Manufacturing
3D Printing