This technology has delayed-differentiation consequences at the highest level – right through to the end user. With 3D printing, Supply Chains simply apply the principles of MTO (Make-To-Order) – thus removing those risks linked to stock (out-of-stock, obsolescence etc.) and their associated cost. Gone are the 300,000 references to spare parts managed by some distributors – in their place is a good 3D printer and a parts’ database production plan … if this is even partly true, the complexity of managing a Supply Chain relativizes this revolution.
Last-minute production, differentiation delay and made-to-order are existing and proven concepts. Moreover, production-cycle times do not justify availability delays (a few minutes production … for several weeks’ delay).