If you haven’t heard something about the impending world domination of 3D printing, you must have been off visiting another planet. The process was actually first invented in the 1980s but over the last few years it has risen in importance and usage. Indeed, it’s estimated that by 2016 over 50% of all completed products will have used 3D printing at some point in their manufacture. The effect of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it is otherwise known, will certainly not pass the transport and logistics sector by.

Traditionally the world of manufacturing exists by identifying the materials required to make a certain product, locating those materials and then assembling them to create a finished article. With 3D printing the product is realised through a digital blueprint being replicated as a 3 dimensional reality, but, using only the most essential materials in order to facilitate production.

Less need for ready-made stock

The knock on effect of this type of manufacture is where the impact on the logistics industry truly begins. 3D printing allows for any product to be made entirely to order, rendering the idea of stockpiling parts in warehouses, and housing huge amounts of ready-made stock obsolete. Overstock and the upkeep and management of spaces to keep it all in would become a thing of the past, potentially saving millions of pounds of all the running costs associated with such operations.

3D printing could conceivably shorten the length of the supply chain considerably, especially if businesses choose instead to establish micro-manufacturing centres, close to prime markets in order to ensure optimum delivery times. The major positive to all of this is the reduction of the overall carbon footprint.

Creating products on the move

The rise of 3D printing will trigger a substantial rise in demand for the necessary raw materials, supplies of which will still all need to be transported. With a number of potential smaller satellite plants being set-up it may also mean that there are likely to be more drops to make. Likewise, service providers may eventually reach the point when they are literally 3D printing the parts and instruments they require for a particular job in the back of their vehicle. Conceivably almost every industry we know could become far more mobile.

The effect on IT remains to be fully established. One on hand it may lead to a sudden rise in obsolete hardware on the other, with parts being more readily available, does this mean that devices and machinery will enjoy longer lifespans?

Meeting new demands

The real impact of 3D is yet to be known or measured accurately. There’s no doubt that it will have a great impact across many sectors and industries, but whether it ends up detrimental or positive remains to be seen. Whichever way it falls, the recycling sector has to be ready. Ready for metamorphosis and to move with the times, adapting and developing to meet new demands.

RecycleIT4U offer a fast, efficient and friendly service to help recycle your unwanted electrical goods with a simple automated collection system.
To book a collection you can either use our online form or you can speak to us direct during our normal office hours. Our collection booking telephone number is 01952 580814.

We will collect redundant PCs, laptops, monitors, servers, network products, printers, EPOS, Scanners, UPS, cabling, AV equipment, projectors, telephones, mobiles and fax machines using our own vehicles at an agreed date and time.

An official WEEE disposal certificate will be issued, quoting serial number, asset tag and 
description of all the items collected.

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