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Issue 05/2017

The shape of prints to come

3D printing will turn manufacturing on its head

Since the mid-18th century, manufacturing has been affected by technical innovations that have led to the gradual replacement of many craft-based activities by mechanized and automated processes. From weaving to the mass production of automobiles and consumer goods and the introduction of information technology (IT) in manufacturing, these processes have had an influence on all areas of life. The emergence of 3D printing is the latest in a long line of disruptive technologies to make its mark on manufacturing.