With groundbreaking revelations coming by the day including objects as varied as printable car chassis and prosthetic limbs, the furore around 3D printing is justifiable by the mere fact that not too long ago its creations could genuinely seemed like something from a sci-fi film.
A quick Google search on 3D printing very quickly gives an idea of both the levels of excitement in the stock markets for the advances, and also the breadth of variety that the technology is capable of producing. Coupled with this, it is also generating a great deal of news and business discussion, as experts and analysts debate the impact of 3D printing on the international markets, and what revolutionary effects it may have on global manufacturing, supply chain and most of all mankind’s ability to take creative design to the next level. This could all take off even further with the rapid rise in consumer 3D printers suitable for home use, and as these start to reduce in price and increase in quality then their popularity will surely begin to soar as well, not to mention the market being worth an estimated $8.4 billion by 2025.
It is also on the top table of some of the biggest technology companies in the world, with Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman for example one of the latest to announce the multinational computer giant’s intention to move into the 3D print market in 2014. With a huge variety of interest ranging from the likes of HP through to niche start-ups around the world, there is a clear surge of excitement in the commercial world for the potential of the technology. That said, for balance it must also be stated that there is also a certain degree of scepticism and some degree of fluctuation on the stock markets, the overall trend certainly seems to be an extremely positive one.
The popularity of 3D printing is illustrated by the number and range of prestigious tradeshows and events currently taking the technology sector by storm, 2014 features highlight shows such as Inside 3D Printing in 8 countries across all the continents, and the 3D Printshow in New York, Paris and London that illustrate the wow factor currently associated with the technology. The Science Museum in London as well as other museums around the world are also home to a dedicated exhibition showcasing some of the current printers and designs that have been created through 3D print.
Whether your interest in the technology lies in its potential for health treatments and life-improving advances, for the sweeping changes it is capable of making to the manufacturing landscape, or from a more hobbyist perspective of bringing designs to life, 3D printing really does look set to be one of the next ‘big things’ the world sees evolve.