Imagine a company printing 211 million copies of a product catalog. That is more than 20 times the population of Sweden.What would happen if you added augmented reality to the mix? IKEA, a Swedish home furniture company, valued for offering good design and functionality at affordable prices, just started utilizing this strategy. They recently launched their augmented reality shopping app, called IKEA Place, which can overlay 3D models of furniture onto floors and other surfaces in a customer’s house in real time. Customers have been extremely excited because it has allowed them a sneak peek into how furniture would look in their house before committing to a purchase.
McKinsey, a worldwide management consulting firm, predicts that additive manufacturing could have an economic impact of $550 billion annually by 2025. 3D printing has always been seen as a solution to the complicated process of taking a product from design to finished product, but has never fully caught on- until now. The latest round of 3D printing technology is changing this by doing more to shorten the prototyping and manufacturing stages for bringing a product to market.