Local for local

Industrial scale 3D printers are considerable devices up to 10m in length that require an industrial location rather than a corner in the office. However, compared to traditional manufacturing setups, 3D printers are relatively small and self-contained. In addition, 3D printing requires little manual labour during the production stage of the process.

Taken together, these factors mean that the traditional paradigm of large concentrated manufacturing plants in areas with cheap labour and shipping products half way round the world with all the associated challenges and environmental pressure is now no longer relevant.

With the advent of 3D printing, the global manufacturing paradigm is shifting to distributed manufacturing locations with 3D printers that produce for local clients within a radius of a few hundred kilometres. Clients are able to discuss their needs in their own language with someone who understands their context and has the same appreciation for quality, punctuality and transparency. In addition, clients can visit and inspect their goods much more easily as they are only a short drive away. Finally, local production means local shipping of finished goods, thus shortening the delivery leg of the process and reducing cost and fuel usage.

Local production with 3D printing also has a beneficial effect on the local job market. 3D printing requires high quality digital 3D designs that are ready for printing, and the preparation of such designs requires highly skilled designers and engineers. Cooperation with local clients and local knowledge institutes is crucial to solve problems, and successful regions will have a thriving ecosystem of commercial enterprises, knowledge workers and students. As with any ecosystem, regions will have to invest in infrastructure and nurture the ecosystem to make it sustainable and reap the benefits.


Freedom of design
Direct from CAD
Local for local
One stop shop
No waste
Low carbon
Series of one