The Road Ahead for 3D Printing

The technology for 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has existed in some form since the 1980s. 

However, the technology has not been capable enough or cost-effective for most end-product or high-volume commercial manufacturing. Expectations are running high that these shortcomings are about to change.

Several technology trends are feeding these expectations. An emerging class of mid-level 3-D printers is starting to offer many highend system features in a desktop form factor at lower price points. Printer speeds are increasing across the product spectrum; at least one high-end system under development could print up to 500 times faster than today’s top machines. And key patents are about to expire, a development likely to hasten the pace of innovation.

In a recent PwC survey of more than 100 industrial manufacturers, two-thirds were already using 3-D printing. 

Read more at ENGINEERING.com

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