While 3D printing has generated a lot of speculation concerning the future of manufacturing, especially in China, it’s not very often you see a Chinese government official going out of their way to address the potential impact 3D printers might have on the country’s economy.
A lot of people, ranging from investment advisors such as The Motley Fool to academic organizations such as The Atlantic Council, have been postulating the theory that 3D printing will eventually lead to a lot more local manufacturing using additive processes that are less expensive than manufacturing goods in countries such as China and then shipping them half way around the globe.
Multiple Chinese media outlets are reporting that Luo Jun, secretary-general of the China 3D Printing Technology Industrial Alliance, is saying that not only are 3D printers not capable of scaling to the same levels of manufacturing processes in China, but that products made using 3D printers right now fail to meet “safety and environmental standards.”
That may come as a surprise to anyone that’s ever created any kind of glassware using a 3D printer. But it also suggests that China may wind trying to restrict the use of 3D printers within its own market.
In the meantime, don’t be surprised to see a lot of free uncertainty and doubt (FUD) being spread about 3D printers, especially from folks that are not only trying to protect a market, but also the stock value of the companies that play in those markets.