3D printing expected to impact industries by 2025
The buzz generated by the arrival of 3D printing as a legitimate production method is showing no sign of slowing down, with some insiders predicting it to bring about a third industrial revolution. While these are big shoes for any technology to fill, there is evidence to suggest this might soon become a reality.
The technology first made a name for itself as a hobbyist's dream, allowing for people to design, prototype and subsequently manufacture goods in their own home. This allowed individuals to pursue their own companies, or simply build things for fun in their spare time.
Now however, 3D printing is reaching a point where its ability to innovate is affecting other industries, with the potential to provide some amazing results. Market research specialist IDTechEx believes the potential reach for the technology extends far beyond the average consumer, and will soon serve major corporations on a large scale.
One of the most talked about developments to come out of the proliferation of 3D printers is their ability to produce replacement human body parts, with the surgery and dental sectors expected to benefit most from these applications. By 2025, IDTechEx believes 3D printing will be worth US$868 million to these sectors.
This growth is expected to be generated by a need for dental implants and orthopedic inserts, and then followed by a desire for jewellery and other body augmentations.
Other industries expected to benefit from 3D printing as it becomes more viable on a larger scale include aerospace, automotive and architecture.
The main cause for the above sectors adopting these techniques is the ability for 3D printing to offer quick access to prototyping. This means that new products or parts can often go from design to limited production in a matter of hours, saving time and money in the development process.
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