The recent development of 3D technologies are bringing forward the discussion on 3D printing technology and how it could change the perspective of our future. Through 3D printing, objects are now created out of almost nothing, using simply the digital data of their conception. Systems that make 3D printing possible range from a printer not much bigger than a regular desktop printer, to large and well developed 3D production systems.
The 3D printing technology has multiple applications across various industries of the economy and can impact science, architecture, engineering, design and art, all the same. It might also change the actual landscape of the commercial real estate industry – more specifically, the industrial sector, since 3D rendering is already changing the real estate sellers and buyers market, right now.
The idea is that rather than producing without a previous order, a lot of products, in many different sizes and types and then storing all these products in a warehouse, waiting for someone to order some of it, companies will be able to simply make a custom product for each consumer, upon ordering. No more stuff will be produced until there is a specific and confirmed order for it. This might mean that all the companies will just need the raw materials for their 3D printed products. This might greatly decrease the need for distribution channels and warehousing across the globe. The effects of these all will probably start showing in about 10 years, the least.
Some people are comparing the shift from the industrial production lines of today to 3D printing, with the transition to the industrial assembly line, during the industrial revolution. Some of the highlights of the shift, could include:
- Bringing manufacturing back to the countries where the vending and the consuming process is done
- Improving ad creating custom made products for people
- Eliminating the leftovers of the final products
- Facilitating the entry of new ideas/products into the market; increasing opportunities for innovation.
Like all new things, it might not all go as planned, though. Therefore, possible downsides might come up along the transition process. The low need of warehouses and even retail stores, might have an impact on construction materials production, just like the online trade does. There might also be a decrease in manufacturing employment as well. It is however interesting to see how increased use of 3D printing will impact the local real estate market in the next 10 years.