Magazine article Business Credit

A World Shaped by 3D Printing: The Future Blueprint for Credit Risk Management

Magazine article Business Credit

A World Shaped by 3D Printing: The Future Blueprint for Credit Risk Management

Article excerpt

The future world of credit professionals is bound to be exciting due to new technologies.

I've made predictions in the past, some not so difficult, but nevertheless. I predicted the bankruptcy of some large multinationals in the traditional camera industry as soon as the digital camera arrived on the market. I also predicted the bankruptcy of DVD rental shops upon the arrival of movies on demand.

Now I am going to make another prediction: a world of increased risk for credit managers in the next couple of decades! Major shifts will occur causing many bankruptcies in many industries, requiring a total shift in credit risk management. Why? 3D printing. What the internet did for our way of communicating and the availability of data, the developments in 3D printing will do for manufacturing. 3D printing has existed since the late 1980s, but is only now really taking off.

Here's some of what I've learned:

* Microsoft announced that it will be adding built-in support for 3D printers as part of Windows 8.1.

* NASA wants to print spare parts and pizzas in space.

* Human skin will be printed in five years' time (e.g., for treating burn victims) and synthetic bones, blood vessels and dental crowns (or even bionic ears with stereo sound to pick up a wider range of frequencies than a normal human ear) to replace existing damaged ones will become a possibility, along with even stem cells and organs one day.

* In Amsterdam, work has already started on a house that will be constructed using an eight-meter-high 3D printer.

* The University of Illinois printed a battery smaller than a grain of sand, capable of delivering the same output of a battery used in today's mobile phones. Many more of these developments will occur when 3D printers are supported by nanotechnology.

* A 3D printer will be capable of printing a replica of itself.

* You'll be able to print your own medicines, a statue of yourself, or of your wife so you can look at her all day (better than a picture on your desk I guess). Perhaps you'd prefer to have your own copy of Michelangelo's David, or a T-Rex.

* You'll be able to print your own perfectly fitting shoes, as well as clothing in a color of your choice. Nike and Adidas have already developed the printing of 3D shoes for athletics, which can be uniquely customized to stand out from the crowd.

* For more complex 3D printing, vending machines will allow people to print the object they want from a USB stick.

In the auto industry, I predict the printing of spare parts in car showrooms and garages the moment the part is needed. Imagine printing your own classic car (my dream is a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO SWB) in parts and putting it together yourself.

What Does This Mean for Affected Industries and Credit Risk Management?

Transport and packaging: When people start to print at home, the packaging and transportation of many products will be replaced, requiring only the delivery of chemicals (for printing plastic, metal, etc). Industry supply chains and customer bases may change. Many more payments from individuals can be expected, removing the need to sell products via existing distributors.

Waste industry: There will be much less waste, as old parts can be recycled after melting down the compounds, which can be fed to a 3D printer to create a new part. …

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