3D Printing to Have Huge Impact

An Australian technology specialist says manufacturing industries need to embrace 3D printing - which he says will have an even bigger impact on economies and society than the internet itself.

Digital entrepreneur Steve Sammartino advises businesses on how to adjust to disruptive technologies and the digital revolution.

He believes 3D printing will be far more than a niche tool and believes that it will transform everything about the way we live within a matter of years.

He said: "The first time I saw it, it blew my mind because to see actually something physically get made layer upon layer in front of you is quite astounding. I think that 3D printing will be even greater than the information revolution because it democratises manufacturing for the first time.

"We're going to see desktop manufacturing in the same way that we saw desktop publishing and information transfer and so we can actually transfer physical products to other people who can print it at the other end, just like we would send an email or send a video."

Mr Sammartino urges business leaders not to overlook it.

He added: "I think you need to embrace it. Like we've seen with the social web, the companies that moved quickly to embrace the new tools and collaborate with their audience have been the major beneficiaries.

"In fact, the idea of making and selling items is not nearly as important as the idea of providing platforms and collaborating with your end consumers.

"So trying to fight the tide is kind of like — it's not a strategy that's effective for the manufacturing industry.

"The best thing they can do is work out how to use it as a platform and collaborate and get faster and quicker innovation by working with their customers and their supply chains rather than trying to fight the tide of the things that they used to make."

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