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3D printing is one of the fundamentals of industry 4.0. But before considering 3D printing, we should know what industry 4.0 is. The fourth industrial revolution is the on-going automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology. Industrial revolutions are occurring due to emerging technologies. These technologies change the industry’s method of production at a great speed. We lived in a society where three industrial and technological revolutions happened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that have led to progress in all aspects, both economically and socially.

Since 2014 we are experiencing a change in the market due to the fourth industrial revolution. Thanks to the exponential growth of technology and ICT in the last decade, giving rise to industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is made up of different innovative technologies that give rise to flexible, intelligent and autonomous solutions. This change implies the digital transformation of industry and companies with the integration of new disruptive technologies: 3D printing, IoT, cyber-physical systems (CPS), cybersecurity, cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and big data. This gives rise to the industry of the future.

3D printing is one of the leading emerging technologies of industry 4.0 .  The use and implementation of additive manufacturing in combination with other technologies, is producing an evolution in the industry towards an intelligent production. Turning a 3D design into a product is only possible with 3D printing. In this way the need for expensive tools and fixtures is eliminated, reducing post-processing, material waste and human intervention. These are the characteristics that define the industry of the future. 3D printing is a great ally of the environment, a very important characteristic considering our current climatic situation and the importance of having sustainable manufacturing processes with less consumption of resources.

Additive manufacturing has a very promising future. The increase in the number of companies, techniques and materials has increased the possibility of using this technology. In addition, the current situation that is being experienced worldwide due to COVID-19, has led to greater progress and consolidation of 3D printing. Silicon Valley, London and New York are the leading locations for Industry 4.0 . DFactory BCN is the largest Industry 4.0 hub in southern Europe. The main objective is to create employment opportunities.

3D printing has a wide range of possibilities and it will be among the leading technologies in the future.