The Latest on 3D Printing from EuroMold 2014
EuroMold 2014 attendee Steve Heller gives the world’s largest printing conference rave reviews. In a video taken on the floor in Frankfurt, he enthusiastically reports on the growth of the 3D printing industry.
3D printing takeaways:
1. There has been a growing acceptance of the 3D printing industry in technology, manufacturing and prototyping.
Heller reports that people now understand what 3D printing is, and they want to know how this new technology can benefit their operations. Now, they are asking the right questions such as, “Why should I implement 3D printing?”
2. Industry watchers should look for growing competition within the field.
Expected growth in the industry is tremendous. According to Heller, “Wohlers Associates projects about 31% growth, compounded every year between 2013 through 2020. . . it’s going to become about a $20 billion industry, according to their estimates.”
Heller cautions that with that growth comes intense competition, which will drive prices down for the customer, but also put 3D printing businesses under more strain.
3. 3D printing equals rapid iteration, and brings product to the market faster.
Heller explains that the technology comes in handy when for example, “you have a product deadline and you want to bring a product to market in eight months.” Instead of outsourcing the creation of prototypes, he says that 3D printing allows companies to 3D-print products multiple times, at a cheaper rate, and without tooling.
Heller advises attending these types of industry conferences when possible, since the information gained by seeing the technology in person is far greater than what you can gain by reading a press release.
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