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On-demand manufacturing offers a solution. Rather than predicting what will be needed in advance and having a supply chain in place to meet those predictions, the idea is to manufacture in response to demand. This should reduce waste, enable companies to adapt to changing requirements in a more agile fashion, and facilitate greater customization. 3D printed electronics, here explored in detail, is an emerging technology that enables this new manufacturing paradigm. A detailed analysis of the entire 3D electronics space, including 3D molded interconnect devices (3D-MID) and in-mold electronics (IME), please see IDTechEx’s new report “3D Electronics 2020-2030: Technologies, Forecasts, Players”.
What is 3D printed electronics?
3D printing, in which a material is deposited layer by layer to build up a 3D object, is a relatively well-established technology. This material is often a thermoplastic, although 3D printing can also be applied to metals and ceramics. One of the main advantages is that specific products with unique specifications can be made to order, enabling cost effective production of bespoke parts and facilitating on-demand manufacturing. Another advantage is that manufacturing is additive rather than subtractive, meaning that material waste is far less than other manufacturing technologies such as machining. 3D printing is …
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