3D printing industry expert, Terry Wohlers was a speaker at the 3D Printing Conference in New York last week and had some key insights into the future of the industry. Below are a few of our favorite excerpts from his presentation — click here to read the summary in it’s entirety.
Terry’s market research firm, Wohlers Associates, each year compiles an industry report that includes data from around the world. This year he stated that 3D Printing will be the recipient of substantial investments globally. China plans to put 750 million yuan [$240 million US] into AM over next 6 years and are doing so by “buying their way in”. Singapore has earmarked $400M for advanced manufacturing programs that include 3D printing.
Terry feels that the obstacles and challenges in 3D Printing are mostly design driven.
More and more effort is needed to not just take a traditional design and 3D Print it, but rather to re-think the entire part design to take into account the capabilities and limitations of AM.
“3D Printing in production pushes the limits of the technology”, says Terry. “We need quality and consistency, in short, process controls.”
Predictions are that by 2021, AM will be a $10.8 Billion industry. If total global manufacturing is a $10.5 Trillion industry and we conservatively predict that 3D printing takes over 2% of that market, we still only talking about $210 Billion annually. So,Terry concludes, “we’ve only seen tip of the iceberg!”
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for additive manufacturing!
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