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The article “How 3-D Printing is Revolutionizing Lean Manufacturing” explores 3D printing and its connection with both smart and lean manufacturing. What are smart and lean manufacturing? Smart manufacturing is utilizing concepts such as the Internet of Things to improve efficiency and quality. Lean manufacturing is the idea of eliminating waste to achieve the same goals as smart manufacturing. Inherently these two practices work in unison to create a low waste, inter-connected manufacturing environment.

To take it a step further, the article outlines eight reasons why 3-D printing and lean manufacturing go hand in hand. These reasons are:

  1. Easier prototyping
  2. More easily customize products
  3. More creativity and efficiency
  4. More consistency
  5. Shorter lead times
  6. Local manufacturing
  7. Lower prices
  8. New consumer demand

As stated in the article: “The leaner you are, the more you save and the more you create. The catalyst is 3-D printing.” As 3-D printing technology continues to increase in adoption and viability, the article estimates that we will likewise see an increase in lean workflows.