3D printing has captured the public's imagination, but few companies understand how to leverage it in an industrial context. This article explores practical ways in which manufacturing companies can leverage the technology and prepare themselves for future disruptions.
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Initially, these new competitors will be niche players, operating where consumers are willing to pay a premium for a bespoke design, complex geometry, or rapid delivery. Over the longer term, however, they could transform industries in unexpected ways, moving the source of competitive advantage away from the ability to manufacture in high volumes at low cost and toward other areas of the value chain, such as design or even the ownership of customer networks.