While there's been plenty of talk about virtual design with Autodesk software, the future won't be entirely digital as there is still developing technology that will change the way we make things as well.
Proving that the future will have a physical component, 3D printing is revolutionising the design process, providing more efficient methods of creating prototypes and other models.
The biggest advantage 3D printing has is its accessibility, with the machines able to open doors for everyone from small business owners to design teams in larger corporations.
How will the next generation learn about 3D printing?
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) discovered that younger people are finding the technology through experimentation. Students are often getting to grips with the complexities of 3D printing before using it in a professional environment.
While investigating the topic, the FYA interviewed Daniel Payne, a biomedical engineering student from Melbourne University who experimented with the technology in his free time before studying its potential.
Over the summer holidays Mr Payne and his brother constructed a fully functioning bionic arm using a 3D printer. If the technology can be used to create something this impressive by a student in his bedroom, imagine what it can achieve when a team of designers get behind it.
What's next for 3D printing?
As with most emerging technologies, the future is open for 3D printing, as it's up to its users to discover its potential. However, that hasn't stopped some industry analysts from guessing which industries might benefit the most from its use.
Research and Markets believes the medical industry will see the most growth in the use of 3D printers of next year, mainly due to the number of government-funded projects taking place. Another reason is because, until now, it has been difficult and expensive to create custom-made medical parts for people that need them, such as prosthetics and dental implants.
The technology is also expected to find a greater presence in educational institutions as training providers are starting to see the value in introducing it to students.
According to research produced by Technavio, the 3D printing market for education purposes alone is set to top US$2.3 billion by 2019. The firm believes the devices offer significant value to the institutions that adopt them, as they have a long replacement cycle.
To find further information about how 3D printing can benefit your businesses, download our free whitepaper on 3D printing or contact Redstack. You can also purchase MakerBot and Ultimaker 3D printers directly from the Redstack eStore.