3D Printing

Panalpina and Shapeways Enter Strategic Partnership

Shapeways and Panalpina have begun a partnership, which enables the two companies to work to expand their manufacturing capabilities across the globe.

Panalpina is combining digital manufacturing and 3D printing with their Logistics manufacturing services (LMS), which allows their customers to customize their products, whilst making production work well with consumer demand.

“3D printing is one of the most exciting frontiers of digital transformation,” says Mike Wilson, Panalpina’s global head of Logistics. “It stands for the convergence of the real with the virtual world – and it has the potential to dramatically change the traditional manufacturing and logistics industries.”

Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen adds: “As manufacturing moves from analog to digital, everything we know about product creation will change. Our community the world over is leveraging access to digital manufacturing from our platform to bring thousands of new products to life every day.”

The popularity of 3D printing has recently increased, despite being around for decades, and there’s both upsides and downsides to this technology. Production is moving away from centralized manufacturing, but at the same time, customers are now expecting customised and personalised products, which is beginning to change how products are designed and made. “3D printing is ideal for bringing production closer to the end user and aiding in mass personalization,” explains Wilson.

Shapeways is one of the world’s leading platforms for makers, with community members creating products such as jewellery, toys and accessories, before selling them on the site. The products can be printed in up to 56 different materials, to a high level of quality. As part of the partnership, Panalpina will make good use of the resources Shapeways has to offer, whilst Shapeways will make use of Panalpina’s facilities and other resources.

“Panalpina is ideally suited to assist with the final steps in the manufacturing process including last-mile delivery. In addition, they are investing in their own 3D printing research and capabilities. This demonstrates how committed and serious Panalpina is about the technology, making them an ideal partner for us,” says Weijmarshausen.

Panalpina has recently started two joint research projects with Cardiff University, where the aim is to fnd otu which products can be upgraded with new techniques  of manufacture, and how these improvements will impact future supply chains. The company invested in their first 3D printer in October 2015, which helped them understand how the technology could benefit what LMS has to offer, and their interest grew from there.


Wilson sees the potential and advantages 3D printing could have, other than the possibility of speeding up methods and allowing for personalization and customization: “Because the value for the customer is added at the end of the supply chain, the brand owner can keep inventories, as well as the cost of transportation and obsolescence, to a minimum. Moreover, additive manufacturing produces less waste than traditional manufacturing methods, which fits perfectly with increasingly circular economies.”

“Digital manufacturing will continue to shape many things to come,” concludes Tom Finn, global vice president of supply chain at Shapeways.

About Shapeways
Shapeways is the world’s leading maker platform powered by Digital Manufacturing. By giving anyone the ability to quickly and affordably turn ideas from digital designs into real products, Shapeways is fundamentally changing how products are made and by whom. Shapeways produces roughly 3,000 unique products every day and over 1 million unique products annually. Headquartered in Manhattan, Shapeways also has factories and offices in Long Island City, Seattle and Eindhoven, Netherlands. For more information and to be part of this creative community, visit Shapeways.com, and follow us at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. www.shapeways.com

About Panalpina
The Panalpina Group is one of the world’s leading providers of supply chain solutions. The company combines its core products of Air Freight, Ocean Freight, and Logistics to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made end-to-end solutions. Drawing on in-depth industry know-how and customized IT systems, Panalpina manages the needs of its customers’ supply chains, no matter how demanding they might be. Energy Solutions is a specialized service for the energy and capital projects sector. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in more than 75 countries, and it works with partner companies in a further 90 countries. Panalpina employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide who deliver a comprehensive service to the highest quality standards – wherever and whenever. www.panalpina.com