3D Printing: Social & Business Opportunities

Many scientific researchers refer to the great contribution of 3D printing during the pandemic crisis. According to their studies, the 3D printing that was used yesterday to make prototypes has now been extended to the manufacture of products. A procedure that was proved to be beneficial in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic considering the masks produced for the nursing staff.

In fact, this technology, which matures depending on the evolution of materials that can be used by prosthetic construction machines, will inaugurate even more possibilities in the future. The reason, is that it has the ability to manufacture products of amazing complexity with simple procedures and even products with personalized specifications, such as hearing aids. In the coming years, 3D printing will come into our lives so much that instead of a home text printer, we will have a home object printer. 3D printing could also help with certification, making the process more economical and just as efficient.

The prospects for 3D printing seem to be widening. Many manufacturing sectors are trying to integrate innovative 3D printing approaches into their production chain. For example, in the automotive sector, there have been many analyzes and studies on how 3D printing could contribute to the production of car parts, both at the mechanical level and at the level of vehicle accessories. New materials, lower prices, and improved post-processing options can make the integration of 3D printing in production cycles more sustainable.

As technology continues to evolve, an increasingly competitive alternative to injection molding is being offered for small volume plastic components. At the same time, emphasis is placed on how this process can bring new business opportunities, but also on how the whole project can contribute to the climate crisis we are going through.

Several countries have already made moves to subsidize this type of investment, promoting social entrepreneurship in combination with innovation through similar activities. Social entrepreneurship is a type of entrepreneurship that focuses not on profit, but on people, society, and the environment. Groups of individuals, companies, or businesses develop, fund, and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.

Social entrepreneurs, however, are either non-profit or combine profit-making goals with creating a positive “return to society.” 3D printing is a convenient framework on which an idea of social entrepreneurship can be built, which through the model of the circular economy, can manage to maximize the profits of the company.

The challenges and the opportunities are ahead and waiting to be accepted. Can we take action?