Will 3D Printing Spare Parts Eliminate the Warehouse?

Article by Rod Mackay updated June 21, 2019


Is 3D printing spare parts on demand a realistic business model?

This white paper from Stratasys will look at the business drivers for adopting 3D printing and the applications for the technology. In this paper, we consider how 3D printing can be used to meet the spare parts needs of organisations across a wide range of industries and the challenges that the technology presents.

Spare parts inventory can represent a significant portion of a company’s balance sheet but it’s something that nobody wants.  Spare parts are held as insurance, whether that’s against downtime for components on your production line or to provide ongoing support to your customers. Managing this inventory is challenging, ensuring that you have just the right amount of stock available when you need it.

3D printing spare parts

3D printing spare parts

3D printing has long been hailed as the holy grail of spare parts management. The idea is that you no longer need to hold physical stock of your spare parts; instead, you store a digital file and when you have demand you simply print it – a true just-in-time manufacturing system. In this paper, we look at why 3D Printing can be used to meet the spare parts needs of organisations, where the challenges are today and where businesses can seize short and long term opportunities.

  • What if you could print out spare parts as you need them, in a factory?
  • What if your customers could print out spare parts at home using data that you have sent them?
  • What if your distributors could print spare parts using online services?
  • What if your customers began designing and printing their own spare parts?
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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.