Manufacturing of 3D printers picked up after 2008, when early patents began to expire. Over the past decade, the number of printer manufacturers has risen
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Foreword Executive summaryWhy should business leaders and policy-makers care? The current state of 3D printing What is 3D printing?Current applications Future applications The pace of adoptionHow can businesses and governments prepare for the future? Prepare for digital manufacturing with 3DP Plan for impacts in trade and customsAdjust to shifts in global supply chainsEnsure legality and safety in the 3DP-rich world Promote environmental sustainability Next stepsAppendix: Moratorium on electronic transmissions BibliographyContributorsWorld Economic Forum 91-93 route de la Capite CH-1223 Cologny/GenevaSwitzerlandTel.: +41 (0)22 869 1212 Fax: +41 (0)22 786 2744Email: email@example.com © 2020 World Economic Forum. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system. Contents3456667810131315161820212223This white paper has been published by the World Economic Forum as a contribution to a project, insight area or interaction. The ˜ndings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein are a result of a collaborative process facilitated and endorsed by the World Economic Forum, but whose results do not necessarily represent the views of the World Economic Forum, nor the entirety of its Members, Partners or other stakeholders, including the reviewers.
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3Foreword Emerging technologies are shaping our societies. Digitalization is affecting a myriad of aspects, from how people interact with each other to how they search for and buy products. The Fourth Industrial Revolution encompasses a novel technology that has the potential to make fundamental changes to the ways products are made and distributed: 3D printing (3DP). 3DP might revolutionize the way products are made by disrupting manufacturing patterns, creating novel visual forms that were never possible before, enabling mass customization and offering new pathways to increase the circularity of products. At the same time, 3DP may provoke unintended consequences, such as potential workforce displacement, impacts on trade volumes and supply chains, ˜scal and non-˜scal challenges to customs at borders, and room for intellectual property and legal violations. The hype over 3DP adoption, including the prediction of ﬁprint at home anythingﬂ, has not become reality. Consumer 3DP has not gone beyond do-it-yourself enthusiasts, and 3DP revenues were less than 0.1% of global manufacturing revenues in 2018. At the same time, 3DP global revenues have been rapidly growing at an average annual rate of 26.9% over the last 30 years (Wohlers Associates, 2019). The future of 3DP is evolving and, as such, its impact on different realms is unknown. This White Paper explores these realms and serves three functions. First, it presents broad scenarios of how the future might look like in ˜ve areas Œ manufacturing, trade and customs, supply chains, legality and the environment Œ if 3DP becomes more widely adopted. Second, it suggests leading indicators to monitor, predict and prepare for higher 3DP adoption. And third, it discusses the relevance of existing policy instruments through the lens of 3DP to point to policy changes that might be needed in the future. The World Economic Forum drives the effort by using its platforms and multistakeholder network to share insights, trigger actions and develop future- proof policies by government and businesses for the further adoption of 3DP globally. This paper is part of the TradeTech initiative of the World Economic Forum. It has been produced by the Platform for Shaping the Future of Trade and Global Economic Interdependence. The uncertainty of the scale of 3DP adoption and the effort required to establish the suggested indicators highlight the need for further public-private cooperation.Larry Meixner Managing Corporate Executive Of˜cer, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation Ziyang Fan Head of Digital Trade, World Economic Forum LLC
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4Executive summary3D printing (3DP) is a new and growing area that deserves the attention of business leaders and policy-makers. Understanding the state of this technology, projected future scenarios based on its broad adoption, and how to monitor and prepare for the technology™s positive and negative effects are important considerations. 3DP presents several novel opportunities, the most ubiquitous of which is prototyping. 3DP allows for decentralizing manufacturing by making parts close to consumption. Previously dif˜cult-to-make designs can be easily 3D-printed. This enables tantalizing possibilities; for example, hollow or honeycomb structures can reduce lifecycle costs in many applications, such as aviation. Mass customization may become a reality, with 3DP as key enabler. 3DP is poised to disrupt numerous markets, including automotive, healthcare, construction, fashion and food. The technology is being advanced by passionate, talented players who are inventing newer and faster ways of 3D printing, exploring new materials to print with and developing new business models based on the technology™s bene˜ts. 3DP was invented over 30 years ago, but it has not yet made noticeable inroads in manufacturing; in 2018, 3DP revenues were less than 0.1% of global manufacturing revenues (Wohlers Associates, 2019). Decision-makers in the manufacturing world treat 3DP as yet another tool and perform return-on-investment and quali˜cation analyses, just as they did for other novel technologies, such as computer numerical control. Further, instead of treating 3DP as a stand-alone technology, they have begun to integrate 3DP-related decisions within corporate, product and engineering/operations strategies because of the technology™s disruptive nature. Governments and intergovernmental organizations have the opportunity to develop regulatory strategies to maximize the bene˜ts and mitigate potential unintended consequences.Broad 3DP adoption could have important effects in several areas, such as manufacturing, trade and customs, supply chains, legality and safety, and the environment and sustainability. Workforce displacement/replacement is a potential consequence of 3DP adoption in manufacturing. 3DP-enabled decentralization of manufacturing could affect trade volumes. Supply chains might be shortened by 3DP, potentially affecting regions that rely on low-cost labour. Intellectual property and legal challenges can be expected to increase because of the ease of transmission and copying of 3DP designs. Finally, the opportunity exists to create environmentally sustainable manufacturing systems based on 3DP. Existing policies need to be analysed and perhaps revised to meet these challenges. The pace of adopting 3DP has been slow to date. While revenue growth is increasing rapidly, the extent to which the technology will penetrate mainstream industries and markets in the future is unclear. Further, in many cases it is also not clear whether the impacts will happen at all, or if they do, which of two opposing outcomes might happen: for example, will trade volumes increase or decrease as a result of eventual 3DP scale-up? To navigate these uncertainties, several leading indicators can be monitored to explore possible outcomes. Monitoring those indicators could become part of the planning processes of businesses and national and international agencies.
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5Box 1: The three Ws Three bene˜ts of 3D printing concern ﬁ what ﬂ, ﬁ when ﬂ and ﬁ where ﬂ:What: Only required quantities of products are printed (with the option of customizing every single product for the buyer), reducing product waste due to excess production. When: Products are made just in time (after the order is placed), reducing inventory levels and delivery times. Where: Products are made close to their consumption, reducing the logistics of delivery and CO 2 emissions. Why should business leaders and policy-makers care? 3D printing (3DP), a novel technology considered to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2016), has the potential to make signi˜cant and rapid changes to the way products are manufactured and distributed. To stay ahead, business leaders and policy-makers need to understand the technology and its implications to develop forward-looking strategies and policies for their businesses and stakeholders. Three key bene˜ts of 3D printing are outlined in Box 1. 3DP enables unique approaches in the following: ŒEf˜ciency improvements and product novelties: Products can be made in far fewer steps than conventional manufacturing, going directly from raw materials to ˜nished products. Buildings can be custom-built quickly using 3DP of construction materials. Novel and more robust geometries and reduced waste can be achieved. ŒProducts with substantial societal impact: These include 3D bio-printed body parts and organs that could save and improve lives, pills that dissolve at the right time to ensure the most ef˜cient absorption in the body, and food that is customized to individual nutritional needs.Existing approaches to manufacturing may be turned upside down. 3DP could promote highly decentralized manufacturing, with low or no inventory and short supply chains. Mass customization could ˜nally become reality in consumer products and medicine. The adoption of 3DP has been limited by the high unit cost of 3D-printed goods and general growing pains for deployment in manufacturing, such as qualifying printing processes and products. But 3DP has been more widely adopted in medical, aerospace and automotive areas, primarily for prototyping and tooling. Some niche areas have gone deeper, using 3DP to make ˜nal products, such as dental aligners and hearing aids. Global revenues from 3DP are growing fast year over year, but 3DP revenues constituted less than 0.1% of 2018 global manufacturing revenues (Wohlers Associates, 2019). 3DP is an area to watch because of its ability to disrupt production approaches. It offers the opportunity for democratizing production. For example, regions and countries with a talented or trainable workforce could jump-start their manufacturing base with low capital investment. As discussed later, however, the potential for high negative effects in several directions exists. Policy issues in trade and customs need to be addressed early. Businesses need to adopt speci˜c strategies in order to successfully exploit 3DP. Finally, all of these could become urgent if the expansion of 3DP accelerates or if signi˜cant disruptive innovations occur in the technology.
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6The current state of 3D printing What is 3D printing?The phrases ﬁ3D printingﬂ and ﬁadditive manufacturingﬂ are often used interchangeably by practitioners. This paper will use 3D printing, or 3DP, to refer to this technology, as this is the underlying enabler that has broader applications, while additive manufacturing (AM) is speci˜c to manufacturing. The International Organization for Standardization™s American Society for Testing and Materials 52900 terminology standard de˜nes AM as the process of joining materials to make parts from 3D model data, usually layer by layer. Several techniques produce parts in layer-by-layer fashion by extruding, photocuring, fusing, jetting or laminating materials (Redwood, Schöffer & Garret, 2017). These techniques construct a part by virtually slicing it into extremely thin slices and then building up the part in the 3D printer by repetitively building one layer on top of another, until the entire part is built up (Figure 1). This is dramatically different from conventional manufacturing methods (for example, subtractive methods Œ see Figure 2). Today, plastic, metal, ceramic, glass, composite and biomaterial parts can be 3D-printed.Figure 1: 3DP Œ The layer-by-layer build-up of parts Source: Based on 3D HUBS, ﬁIntroduction to FDM 3D printingﬂ, https://www.3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/introduction-fdm-3d-printing With thoughtful redesign, or use of tools such as generative design (Generative Design, n.d.), 3D-printed parts can outperform their conventionally made counterparts in terms of weight, strength or general ˜tness for purpose (though weak inter-layer strength is a concern, and is a focus of research). Several components previously made in multiple manufacturing steps can be combined into a single-step production, reducing supply chain risk, cost and lead time. In the digitally driven processes of 3DP, manufactured goods could be rapidly updated to create new versions.3DP technology has existed for over 30 years, with an early patent in the 1980s (Hull, 1984). Since then, 3DP has been touted as capable of transforming how goods are produced, with a big hype in the period 2011-2014 (Basiliere & Shanler, 2019). The early hype has died down, but the technology continues to evolve, with many new printer manufacturers focusing on metals and desktop units. Manufacturing of 3D printers picked up after 2008, when early patents began to expire. Over the past decade, the number of printer manufacturers has risen steadily. Consumer 3DP generally has not gone beyond do-it-yourself enthusiasts, even though the number of online resources available for sharing 3D models and for print jobs has increased over the years. Key reasons for this lack of widespread adoption are the dif˜culty of creating 3D models to meet individual needs, and capital and operating costs of devices with required functionality. The high-skill needs of computer-aided design (CAD) and the unique skills required to design 3D-printable models pose a high barrier. Advances in arti˜cial intelligence (AI) may lower this barrier through broad availability of consumer-friendly apps. Current applications The most common manufacturing applications for 3DP are prototyping and tooling (jigs and ˜xtures). Designers and architects prototype their creations and re˜ne them through quick iterations before moving beyond prototyping. In May 2019, Heineken reported a 70-90% lead time and cost reduction using low-cost desktop 3D printers to produce tooling (van de Staak, 2019). A growing application is the making of spare parts on demand, instead of manufacturing and stocking ahead of time. Thus, 3DP is complementing traditional manufacturing. The segment of 3D-printed end-use parts, while small, is growing: over the past 10 years,
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8Figure 3: Global 3DP revenues (in million $) Source: Wohlers Associates, 2019 The pace of adoptionWhile 3DP revenues have been growing fast (Figure 3), 2018 global revenues totalled $9.8 billion, a rather small amount compared to global manufacturing revenues of $12.8 trillion. The potential for additive manufacturing to attain 1% of global manufacturing revenue in the next ˜ve years is ˜ve times greater than the most optimistic projections, as reported in the 3D Hubs 3D Printing Trends Q1 2019 report (3D Hubs, 2019). Most experts agree that 3DP is likely to be deployed in niche or custom products, rather than taking the place of established production approaches (e.g. for everyday plastics). Experts differ on when 3DP revenues will make a dent in global manufacturing revenue, with opinions ranging from 10 to 30 years. Most products are manufactured in factories. To achieve scale-up, manufacturing must adopt 3DP on a large scale. Currently, 3DP is mainly used for rapid prototyping, tooling and low-volume production. What prevents 3DP from scaling up quickly in manufacturing? Some of the reasons are: ŒThe technology is not always reliable in terms of reproducibility and yield, for example, though reliability is improving rapidly, especially in high-end printers. ŒThe unit cost of making a 3DP part is higher than those for traditionally volume-manufactured goods, making 3DP more suitable for low-volume products. ŒThe strong perception is that 3DP processes are slow; for true comparison, however, end-to-end production time Œ from raw materials to ˜nished products Œ must be considered.
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9 ŒManufacturers consider that 3DP is yet another tool, and that it must prove its mettle in process/quality control. This takes time. ŒManufacturers need data on the bene˜ts of 3DP to their products, but the data will not be available until 3DP is widely adopted in their sectors. This is a circular situation. Œ3DP enables decentralized manufacturing. But several barriers to move to distributed/decentralized manufacturing exist, including the investments needed (Rauch, Dallinger, Dallasega & Matt, 2015) and high post-processing labour content. Logistics costs for light products seem not signi˜cant enough to trigger decentralized manufacturing near consumption markets (Freund, Mulabdic & Ruta, 2019). ŒTurning the promise of mass customization to reality is not simple. Only 10% of online shoppers use product customization options (Spaulding & Perry, 2013), as it does take effort for consumers to provide information required to customize products. Figure 4: Key questions for developing strategies to adopt 3DP in manufacturingNote: IP = intellectual property Source: World Economic Forum and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, with contributions from Formlabs and Bain & Company ŒScaling up depends on the availability of skilled labour and on process standardization, both of which will take time to achieve for a new technology. ŒPolicy issues (Ferracane, 2016), such as those for certifying 3DP parts for healthcare applications, take time to address. What can be done to help the scale-up of 3DP? For this, deeper, strategic realignments on 3DP™s fundamental capabilities are needed, in addition to integration with supply chains and business models. The re˚ections in Figure 4 are critical for stakeholders to make strategic realignments.
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10Figure 5: Leading indicators to monitor trends of 3DP adoption and upcoming challenges Source: World Economic Forum and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation How can businesses and governments prepare for the future? 3DP, like other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT and autonomy, needs to be addressed, as business strategies and appropriate policies have failed to keep pace with the growth of these technologies. Businesses and governments are responsible for shaping the trajectory of the technology for positive outcomes. 3DP can affect multiple areas, including the ˜ve covered in this paper: manufacturing, trade and customs, supply chains, legality and safety, and the environment and sustainability. Many of these areas require early preparation, considering the time needed to develop targeted policies and regulations. The policies and regulations can serve as enablers for the legitimate development of 3DP, while providing a level playing ˜eld and setting out a robust regulatory mandate and associated mechanisms against potential misuses.Figure 5 presents leading indicators that could be monitored as they can be used to gauge impact on the ˜ve areas explored in the subsections that follow. Table 1 lists the leading indicators and their signi˜cance, and the actions that might be taken to predict upcoming trends and challenges in the ˜ve areas.
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11While it would be important for business leaders and policy-makers to project potential outcomes of the growth of 3DP, the outcomes cannot be projected with certainty Œ they may or may not happen in some cases, and in other cases the opposite may occur. An example of the latter is global trade. There have been suggestions on both sides, namely those that argue that global trade will decline (Leering, 2017) and those that predict the opposite (Freund, Mulabdic & Ruta, 2019). Because of these uncertainties, it is important to watch for signs of what might happen, and economic models can help quantify this. Yet 3DP economic models are generally lacking, with some ˜rst attempts in this direction (Abeliansky, 2019). Table 1: Leading indicators, their signi˜cance and how to use themLeading indicatorSigni˜cance of indicatorSuggested actionsWhen 3DP appears on company roadmaps, plans to decentralize and bring production close to consumption might occur An increase in the volume of industrial 3D printers might suggest their potential use either in making niche products or in replacing traditional manufacturing equipment As customers show increased preference for bespoke products, mass customization opportunities increase for 3DP An uptick in household 3D printer purchases could result in increased household plastic waste and reduced shipping volumes As the number of printing locations increases, the potential for production near consumption increases Indicators such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade barometers could signal increasing or decreasing trade trends in goods and services, giving a ˜rst indication of whether looking further into trade statistics of intermediary products is needed Trade statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Trade in Value Added (TiVA) database could signal a reduction of foreign value-added content of exports, which could suggest increasing 3DP uptake in consumption markets Review whether the roadmap implicates moving or closing facilities; look for projections of workforce changes Examine the market segmentation of customers buying the printers; review which ones include traditional manufacturers Identify product opportunities for mass customization using 3DP; look for new business models that emerge to bene˜t from these Track statistics of 3DP material sales to households to understand if the printers are being actively used to make parts at home Check to see if products from the facilities will serve a local market, and if so, whether the products displace current products Look for trade volume reductions in intermediary goods for which demand in ˜nal goods in consumption markets is still high, to identify early signs of decentralization Company roadmaps that include 3DP Sales data of industrial 3D printers Consumer preference for custom products Sales data of home 3D printers Applications for 3DP facilities Trade volumes
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