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Although we all know the potential impact of the 3D printing revolution, a recent report from the global research firm McKinsey, led by James Manyika has highlighted the top economic future developments that will impact the globe as a whole.  3D printing is of course up there as an industry game changer and represents an economic impacts of between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025.  We should therefore all be gearing towards maximising this incoming economic wave.  It’s fascinating to see the plentiful of upcoming technologies and especially the explosion of self driving cars along with the “internet of things” having the most direct impact on our lives in 2025.

According to MGI, in 2025 traditional manufacturing techniques will still have a large cost advantage over additive manufacturing for high-volume products. This will be the same as now and we almost naturally anticipate this to be the case of course. 3D printing will be used for making highly complex, low-volume and highly customisable parts.  The latter suggestion here is of importance as we’ll see the change of shopping habits gearing towards mass customisation and consumers all wanting unique products specific to them.

MGI believes 3D printing will have an impact on consumer products with high customization value including toys, accessories, jewelry, footwear, ceramics and simple apparel. MGI estimates global sales of these products could grow to $4 trillion a year by 2025 and it is possible most of the consumers of these products could have access to 3D printing by 2025 and consumers might 3D print 5~10% of these products by 2025. “A potential 35~60% cost saving is possible for consumers self-printing these goods”, says MGI.

The 12 disruptive technologies include: mobile Internet, automation of knowledge and work, Internet of things, cloud technology, advanced robotics, autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, next-generation genomics, energy storage, 3D printing, advanced materials, advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery, renewable energy.

The full report of “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” can be downloaded here.

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