Manufacturing Options: The manufacturing options will only be limited by your imagination. Products are fully customizable. You can size and manufacture a product exactly according your own needs.
Rapid Prototyping: Products can maneuver more quickly from the design stage to an actual prototype.
Manufacturing Speed: The speed of manufacturing an item will increase dramatically. Items can be made from scratch in a shortened period of time, even just a matter hours.
Cost Reduction: 3-D printing has become less expensive in three major world countries. Printing onsite cuts out the middle man expense. Over time, most of the population will have 3-D printers in their houses which will reduce personal costs.
Warehousing: With current manufacturing technologies, consumer products are made in high volume for storage and then distribution. However, with 3-D printers, only products that are sold need to be manufactured. This means warehousing of extra inventory is decreased. Overproduction of product will also reduce cost.
More Jobs: There will be an increase need for engineers to design products and fabricators to develop and produce printers. Another job created will be for technicians to maintain, use and repair 3-D printers. Additionally, with the cheaper expense of manufacturing, more designers and artists would be able to bring their products to stores. Perhaps we can also have an increase in domestic careers to export products.
Medical: One of the many things 3-D printing can provide us is customizable body parts or organs. While the usage is still in undergoing rigorous experimentation, the advantages are massive. In the future, doctors will be replacing organs and more. There will be no problems with needing donors for organs and rejection will not be a problem since organs will be built using the persons own DNA.
Safety Issues: When you are making a prototype or part you are making it manually, right? Well, when you are making a prototype manually you do not have a guarantee that you will not get hurt. If you use a 3-D printer, you will have less chance to get hurt as you would by manually constructing a prototype.
Fewer Manufacturing Jobs: With all of the new and innovative technologies that will be capable of producing items mechanically, we effectively reduce the need for individuals and their craftsmanship. This reduction in workforce is a disadvantage which will have a large impact on our economy and others.
Limited Materials: Currently, 3-D printers can only manufacture products out of metals, ceramics, resin and plastic. This is somewhat of a limiting factor.
Copyright problems: With 3-D printing becoming more popular and less expensive people will be manufacturing items whose design belongs to someone else. There will be subsequent lawsuits because of infringement.
Dangerous Items: Even though most people would utilize 3-D printers to enhance their lives and fulfill their needs, there will be others who are likely to manufacture items that may be illegal or harmful in the wrong hands. One example includes being able to manufacture guns.
Size: Currently, 3-D printers are facing a road block with size. So far 3-D printers can only produce small products. People are researching bigger machines, but for now they can only build small objects.