In recent years, there has been significant progress in 3D printing for its numerous applications in various industries, including the transport and logistics sector.
The global demand for this breakthrough technology is expected to double in the coming years as businesses are looking for practical and sustainable ways to produce customized products at a lower cost.
The application of 3D print technology to the transport industry can reduce supply chain costs through the reduction of transportation activity and worldwide transfer of goods.
3D printing is a disruptive innovation that makes a transformative impact in the transport and logistics industry.
What is 3D Printing Technology, and How does it Work?
3D print technology is an additive manufacturing process that adds multiple layers of materials. This revolutionary emerging technology uses computer-aided design (CAD) or a laser scan to create a 3D object from a digital file.
The model is sliced into several plans directing the 3D printer to add successive thin layers of materials until the entire object is built.
Applications of Additive Manufacturing to Transportation Industry
Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing are the two current industrial applications of this innovative technology.
Application of this technology in manufacturing may replace the traditional form of manufacturing, which uses molds. And then, it eliminates the need to import plastic-based goods from halfway around the world. Also, additive manufacturing can contain the costs of processes in developing the products.
For many years, one of the challenges that manufacturers are facing is product customization due to the high costs. But with 3D innovation, its customized functional products, and the ability to print parts directly have made a significant impact on various businesses.
Here are some potential impacts of 3D print technology on the transportation and logistics sector.
Empowers Transport Decision Makers
3D print technology empowers transport decision-makers to design important structures and facilities at a lower cost.
Bus shelters, small bridges, and other outdoor structures are manufactured and designed to fit into a specific environment while retaining safety and integrity.
Better Transportation Planning and Management
Through 3D applications, planners will have access to new methods and tools that could help them in various transportation planning.
The technology will also make public outreach and environmental conformance easier as it will allow transport officials to work with the community more creatively.
Planning for Movement of Goods
The first large-scale business that will be affected by this technology is the logistics of the supply chain, followed by manufacturing and construction distribution.
There will be different truck traffic patterns and changes with the uses of truck types, from bigger vans and trucks to smaller sizes.
Now that the materials for 3D printing can be produced locally, the cargo industry is expected to decline due to the reduction of port traffics and long-distance distribution.
3D print technology is indeed a game-changer for the transport and logistics sector. The said technology affects every aspect of transportation, from management and planning to maintenance and operations.
As the global market slowly adopts this technological innovation, our transportation systems will be changing. Understanding the potential and impacts of this technology on our transportation now is critical in making long-term business decisions.