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3-D printing opens entrepreneurial opportunities

3-D printing

Opportunities are ripe for entrepreneurially minded people today as never before.

What we are seeing unfold today with 3-D printing reminds me of what happened in the late 1970s with computers. There are enormous opportunities emerging for entrepreneurs looking to see what’s possible, find needs in the marketplace, and seize the moment.

Recently I had a chance to speak with two leading players in the 3-D printing marketplace. One was Alan Amling, vice president of Marketing for Logistics and Distribution for UPS.
When I first heard about 3-D printing in relationship to the company that delivers packages in brown vans, I didn’t understand. What is a distribution company doing getting involved with 3-D printing?


As Amling told me in our interview, UPS sees 3-D printing as a disruptor. They are in the business of logistics, delivering goods from one point to another. 3-D printing is already disrupting the supply chain. Rather than fight it, UPS has decided to embrace it and be ready for the coming changes. Instead of fighting the inevitable, they are embracing the uncertainty with a “whatever it takes” mentality.

The kind of thinking that UPS is embracing is vital for your business and mine today. We have to think about new opportunities in a different way. What got us success in the past is not necessarily going carry us forward to future success.

UPS has a commercial relationship with a company named CloudDDM. The DDM stands for Direct Digital Manufacturing. UPS regularly delivers essential but hard-to-obtain parts to manufacturers and other customers in remote, hard-to-reach places around the planet. This requires detailed logistical planning on their part. With 3-D printing, they can work as a partner with their customers so essential parts can be manufactured on-site, as needed, even beating overnight delivery. This saves thousands, and even millions of dollars for their customers.

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