3D printing company Materialise has launched Mindware, an advisory service covering the use of 3D printing to address companies’ business needs.

‘3D printing offers businesses a way to establish more sustainable supply chains and reduce the costs associated with operational inefficiency, by enabling decentralization of manufacturing and production on-demand,’ the company said in a press release. The technology can also enable new business models such as mass production of customized products, and bring innovation to market more quickly, Materialise said.

Materialise conducted a survey last year which reported that 50% of manufacturers expect the use of 3D printing to double in the next five years, but that 41% see the lack of expertise as a major hurdle.

‘3D printing offers unique opportunities for businesses looking to gain or maintain a competitive edge, while keeping investment risk low,’ said Bart Van Der Schueren, CTO at Materialise. It is critical, however, to tap into a source that is both knowledgeable and unbiased. 3D printing covers a range of technologies which are each ideally suited to varying applications, and neutrality is key in ensuring that the right technologies are chosen in each context.’

Mindware will include advise about R&D, design and engineering, process engineering and verticals such as the medical and aerospace industries. Materialise says that it can help companies explore or develop applications for 3D printing as well as defining strategy and qualify manufacturing processes.

This story uses material from Materialise, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.