Advanced manufacturers

Smart 3D printers that disrupt how things are made

Below: Associate Professor Tan Ming Jen with a 3D robotic concrete spray printer that can print concrete. He is studying ways to improve concrete printing. Left: HP's Mr Rob Mesaros with items that have been produced using a 3D printer, for example,
HP's Mr Rob Mesaros with items that have been produced using a 3D printer, for example, a turbine model, an orthotic slipper and a prosthetic arm. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Below: Associate Professor Tan Ming Jen with a 3D robotic concrete spray printer that can print concrete. He is studying ways to improve concrete printing. Left: HP's Mr Rob Mesaros with items that have been produced using a 3D printer, for example,
Associate Professor Tan Ming Jen with a 3D robotic concrete spray printer that can print concrete. He is studying ways to improve concrete printing. ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
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"Let's kill all the suppliers."

That is the mantra of 3D printers that are rendering traditional supply chains obsolete by letting companies print the parts or products they need, whenever they want.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline Smart 3D printers that disrupt how things are made. Subscribe