3D Printing – What’s next?
Here at DriveWorks we can’t get enough of 3D printing.
Anything that can turn your meticulously made models in to a real 3D product without great big machines is certainly cool in our book. We love the idea that it is possible to use DriveWorks to automate the design of new parts printed by a 3D printer.
It seems though, that 3D printing may not be just for prototypes.
A Wohler Associates Report has recently shown that 28.3% of all printed 3D parts are made for producing final products not for prototyping. This signals a growth of almost 25% in only 10 years. Although often known as rapid prototyping, the market seems to be expanding for 3D printing as a manufacturing tool.
As with any piece of new technology, the wider the spread of the technology the cheaper its price will be. Which is perhaps why, as well as a growth in commercial production of 3D printed parts, there is also a move towards cheaper home printing.
Gartner are predicting that by 2016 we will see Enterprise-Class 3D printers available for under $2000 (£1300). This price brings 3D printing in to an affordable price range.
Most excitingly, the lowered price will see a greater adoption rate by the general public, hopefully further expanding the uses that we might see.
Have you seen any great 3D printed designs? If so don’t be afraid to leave your comments below.