3D printing reduces labour costs by making production simple. Traditional manufacturing requires a high level of operator oversight.
Traditional production runs have many process steps. The product moves to successive process tool after each process. This requires operators as well as product conveyors across the entire production line. That means a high labour cost. Normal factory floors have several operators. Each operator oversees one or more process tool(s).
This scenario changes completely for additive manufacturing.
With additive manufacturing, a product gets designed with a 3D CAD software. After design validation, the designer clicks on “Print” command. The 3D printer then takes over and prints the product from start to finish. The production parameters are set during trial runs. Final production runs thus need little operator oversight. There is a huge reduction in the number of operators. This reduces labor costs in the case of additive manufacturing.
3D printing will transform workers from ordinary machine operators to value adding employees. Thus you can see operators upgrading their skills. They will bring in much more value add to the operations. This will enable 3D printing companies to employ skilled labour. In a way, this will actually improve employment potential for the economy.