Getting Past the Hype About 3-D Printing

Although additive manufacturing techniques hold great promise, near-term expectations for them are overoptimistic.

Jaime Bonnín Roca, Parth Vaishnav, Joana Mendonça, and M. Granger Morgan

SPRING 2017

The hope for additive manufacturing is that it will revolutionize manufacturing.1 Although additive manufacturing — also known as 3-D printing — was developed back in the 1980s, it has garnered increased attention in recent years as managers look for ways to improve efficiency and reduce production costs. Managers hope that much the way GE’s new printed nozzle for jet engines has reduced the need for expensive materials and energy,2 3-D-printed parts will cut lead times and make supply chains more efficient ...

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