Podcast: Nirvana in 3D

Additive manufacturing will forever shift the concept of supply and demand, moving businesses and consumers from a mindset of “best fit” to “my fit.”

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, allows us to imagine a world where we can make whatever we want whenever we want it.

Long-hyped but not yet fully realized, the technology has the power to discard the old model of production, ushering in a new age of personalization that turns the notion of supply and demand on its head.

According to today’s guests on Longitudes Radio, 3D-printing experts Alan Amling and Rick Smith, the ability to tap into demand – and then follow it with supply – is nothing short of nirvana for businesses plagued by mounting warehouse inventories and profit-draining inefficiencies.

Amling leads the development and rollout of UPS’s global on-demand manufacturing solutions, which includes a partnership with Fast Radius, a leading provider of 3D-printing solutions ranging from application discovery to product design and testing. Customers can print parts at a Fast Radius factory and ship the 3D-printed solution via UPS the same day.

As the founder of Fast Radius, Smith’s predictions about the future of 3D printing are shaped by years of lessons learned the hard way – by rolling up his sleeves and separating real business value from empty hype.

As the experts explain, 3D printing is no longer just about prototypes. It’s a logistics solution that will reshape not only manufacturing but supply chains as we know them.

You don’t need to be a 3D printing enthusiast to read the tea leaves on the technology. It’s where the world is heading.

But just how close are we to mass adoption of 3D printers in homes? Why should established companies change course to prepare for a 3D-printed future? And how does this so-called nirvana change our daily lives?

Alan Amling is Vice President of Corporate Strategy at UPS. He previously oversaw marketing efforts for UPS's global logistics and distribution services.

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Rick Smith is founder of Fast Radius, a global leader in 3D printing and on-demand parts manufacturing. He is also the founder of the Global Coalition on Additive Manufacturing (GCAM).

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