How 3D Printing Is Influencing Industry Progress?
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How 3D Printing Is Influencing Industry Progress?

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Tuesday, September 24, 2019

3D Printing According to a recent analysis, 3D printing will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 14 percent to approximately $17.2 billion between now and 2020. The analysis means 3D printers will be found in the homes along with the classroom.

FREMONT, CA: Since the time additive manufacturing came into existence commercially, there have been significant advances. So, the critical question remains: is 3D printing technology ready to change the way one designs, engineers, and buy products?

During the late 2000s and early times of the decade, many forecasters and technology writers claimed that a new age of consumer manufacturing was around the corner. No longer had one needed to wander to the shops to buy things or wait for a business to deliver them. Instead, one could fire up a microwave-sized 3D printer, ping it a design file and the item would be printed in the comfort of the homes. But there was no 3D printing revolution that took place. The machines were too complex for anyone outside the manufacturer community to use. Additionally, one could only print plastic items, and it took hours for the finished product to appear. Back then, it was also more comfortable and quicker to order a plastic Technology, bottle opener or a pen holder online.

From reducing costs to growing competence to spurring innovation, many people are keyed up about the impact that 3D printing will have on the potential of manufacturing. Nevertheless, it already has made a noteworthy impact on the industry. Below is an outlook on the evolution of 3D printing to see how its occurrence started and how it has helped the manufacturing industry progress.

The 1980s: Setting the Basis of 3D Printing  

3D Printing remained only an idea in the 1980s. In 1981, a person named Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute in Japan invented a way to print layers of material to create a 3D product. Regrettably, Kodama was unable to get the patent for the technology approved. Meanwhile, in France, a multinational conglomerate and a manufacturer of optical and laser technology found a way to create 3D printed objects. But, the businesses did not see a use for the technology, and they soon deserted their discoveries.

Finally, in 1986, an American engineer created a prototype for a process called stereolithography (SLA). The maker used photopolymers, also known as acrylic-based materials, to progress from liquid to solid using ultraviolet lights. While the engineer patented the SLA printer and other enterprises followed suit.

Two other key technologies that were patented during the period includes,

• Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) – uses powder grains to form 3D printed products.
• Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) – uses heat to layer 3D models.

The above 3D printing models set the basis for 3D printing.

The 1990s: More Technologies and More Implementation

With the foundation of the technology already shaped, companies began experimenting, getting bigger and, eventually commercializing 3D printing. Numerous new 3D printers came to market, including those that deposited wax materials using an inkjet print head. The process was more common to conventional printing.

New methods, like sprayed materials and micro casting, allowed 3D printing to be used for metals and not just plastics. However, technology remained cost-prohibitive. Consequently, adoption was limited to high-cost and low-volume product production. So, it became a natural fit for prototyping fresh products in the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.

The 2000s: 3D Printing Boomed

While there were frequent changes and innovations related to 3D printing all through the early 2000s, 2005 marked the year that 3D printing went on to become more mainstream. Many of the first patents began to expire, and entrepreneurs, along with inventors, sought to take benefit. Meanwhile, one professor made it his undertaking to build a low-cost 3D printer. By 2008, the printer had expertly 3D printed over 18% of its components, and the piece of equipment cost less than $650.

When the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) patent fell to the public domain in 2009, more businesses could create a variety of 3D printers, and the technology became more easily reached. Therefore, 3D printing began making conventional headlines, as concepts like 3D printed kidneys and 3D printed limbs became fascinating and potentially compelling.

What was 3D Printing like in 2010?

With the decline in the cost of 3D printers, the demand for technology began to rise, and they became more usual in the businesses and homes. On the shop floor, producers had already begun leveraging 3D printing in diverse ways. Thus, machine parts could be repaired rapidly, and inventory shortages could be combated with no difficulty. 

The revenue generated by the additive manufacturing industry until 2014 sums up to 1 million dollars. Along with the remarkable financial impact of technology, additive manufacturing also made an impact on how people work. People were free to make and generate new products on their own without relying on companies or technology firms. This empowering shift is fueling the industry, which values creation and focuses on open-source hardware. 

The Potential of 3D Printing

The 3D printing industry keeps on increasing, so what should one expect in the future? According to a recent analysis, 3D printing will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 14 percent to approximately $17.2 billion between now and 2020. The analysis means 3D printers will be found in the homes along with the classroom.

Another recent study determines that over 6.7 million 3D printers will be shipped globally in the upcoming years, the number sums to 14 times more than in 2016. As new technologies advance the uses of 3D printers, the tool will continue to disrupt the manufacturing business and bring it to greater heights.

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