While there’s optimism that global supply chain issues will ease this year, pinpointing exactly when that will happen is difficult, and for now, those problems are still around.
It might not be a silver bullet or a panacea, but 3D printing could make contributions in terms of loosening supply chains, and if that solution is explored more thoroughly, it could stoke conversation around the ARK 3D Printing ETF (PRNT ).
3D printing has a well-documented history of intersecting with other sectors and industries, both old guard and innovation-rich, and that utility could make the technology useful when it comes to the current supply chain crisis.
“Fortunately, the tools are already in place for companies to avoid many of the external hiccups in product development brought on by supply chain problems. Next-gen cloud-based software tools and additive manufacturing — 3D printing — are letting companies design, prototype and refine complex structures on a single platform, and then bring manufacturing much closer to home,” reports Supply Chain Brain.
PRNT follows the Total 3D-Printing Index. Components in that benchmark include companies engaged in “(i) 3D printing hardware, (ii) computer aided design and 3D printing simulation software, (iii) 3D printing centers, (iv) scanning and measurement, and (v) 3D printing materials,” according to the index provider.
Some of those concepts could prove pertinent in terms of loosening up supply chains. It’s not a far-fetched concept because one of the core advantages of embracing 3D printing is that users often realize cost and production efficiencies.
“This speed to creation is a crucial advantage when traditional processes of creating physical prototypes and iterating on designs can stretch on for months, even without the additional hurdles of supply chain issues,” according to Supply Chain Brain. “At the many stages of design and production, 3D printing can often reduce the impact of time and geography. Those greater efficiencies can have a positive cumulative effect throughout the entire process.”
Adding to the case for PRNT is that, as is the case with other disruptive technologies, the coronavirus pandemic is prompting more use of 3D printing. That further highlights the ability of some PRNT components to play roles in solving supply issues.
“Companies at the forefront of innovation have embraced 3D printing as a much faster and more secure pathway from concept to market. The technology has become a foundation for companies in industries as diverse as automobile manufacturing to medical supply because of the ability to create, iterate and produce exclusively on single-platform cloud-based systems,” adds Supply Chain Brain.
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