Could 3D Printing Help Us Solve the Chip Shortage, Though?

Updated: Jul 26

Chip Crisis 2021 is in full effect, and oh boy, everyone is feeling the pressure. From small businesses to the biggest names in electronics, supplies are short and demand is high. Here’s what we know so far.


Since we entered the digital age, electronics have become a part of our everyday lives, (that is unless you’re a native of the Amazon rainforest). To the uninitiated, it may come as a surprise that computer chips are in basically all electronics.


The issue unfortunately cannot be localized to a small area. Over the past year, the effect of the shortage has expanded outward to affect the global economy.


CNN has addressed just how serious this problem has become in its most recent article on the subject: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/12/business/global-supply-chain-nightmare/index.html


As we all know, COVID-19 was no help, as there have been supply chain interruptions for various industries. Since the onset of the pandemic and quarantine mandates, people have been using their devices as if they were an extra appendage.


Aside from this fact, natural disasters in locations where chips are manufactured, such as inclement weather in Texas and droughts in Taiwan have exacerbated the problem.


Check out this article from CNBC that explains some of the underlying factors relating to our current state of affairs.


https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/03/semiconductor-chip-shortage-could-extend-through-2022-marvell-ceo.html

Inquiring minds with interest in economic systems at large may be motivated to ask, “Wait a second, why are we not manufacturing computer chips domestically?”


The short answer is that we do to a certain extent, but we have mostly outsourced these capabilities to China, who has access to labor and supplies that are much less expensive than American made…and now it is coming back around full circle to bite us in the collective tail.


Here’s a novel idea. Why not address the supply chain disruption directly with additive manufacturing? (Also known as 3D printing.) That’s right, I said it.


The subject has even been addressed by Forbes as a possible solution to overcome some of the obstacles that have contributed to the shortage.



https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimvinoski/2021/06/15/can-3d-printing-help-solve-our-chip-shortage/?sh=3615988ddf7d


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