The need for 3D printers continues to expand as the demand for 3D printing services increases.  Consequently, the price to produce the 3D printing hardware is reducing and so too, the devices are becoming more affordable.

What was once only a prospect open to much larger companies who had bigger profits to invest in the high-tech equipment, 3D Printing is now opening up new opportunities for SME and start-up businesses who envisage great ideas for their businesses at a more affordable start-up cost.

For so long, many businesses have been reliant on the provision of other manufacturers to make and supply their components in order to feed the supply chain. Waiting on components to complete an order so that goods can be dispatched can be frustrating and cash flow issues can arise if the goods are delayed or unable to be dispatched.

By having an opportunity to print components on-site and be less reliant on external suppliers in the supply chain will provide new ways of working and will allow for more in-house control on the whole product assembly for the smaller manufacturers – in addition, only printing what you need rather than having to bulk buy could be more cost-effective.  The assured ability to produce the product immediately and the savings gained by not having to the foot the bill for packaging, postage and delivery is also a benefit.

3D Printing and the future of intellectual property

As the improved ability to 3D print product components across many industry sectors grows, so too does the focus on mass re-production and how intellectual property will affect this. As the industry changes the spotlight is moving more towards core 3D print digital files and blue prints, rather than the goods themselves.

For some time now, manufacturers have been concerned over how easily their products could be reproduced by competitors through 3D printingIntellectual property law is currently under review and especially in terms of how 3D printing will impact this. Patent Rights, the copying of files, file sharing and even file cloning will all have an impact on the way in which the industry develops for the future.

Does your company supply to the manufacturing industry? Here at Crendon Insurance we protect the intellectual property rights of companies and the goods they produce through intellectual property insurance? To find out how can support your business with our bespoke insurance solutions through the complete supply chain, please contact our team.

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