Analysts see a market that may grow to $15 billion by 2020.
David Savastano, Editor12.14.15
Interest in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is ramping up. The technology is moving quickly from being a curiosity to a prototyping device, and now a commercial opportunity. Today, there are numerous conferences covering 3D printing, and the subject appears as sessions in many more (Printed Electronics USA 2015 and UV LED 2015 come to mind).
3D printing dates back to the 1980s, led by innovators such as Charles Hull, who invented stereolithography. (He co-founded 3D Systems, an industry leader). Selective laser sintering and electron beam melting are other major 3D printing technologies.
There is no denying that 3D printing is really interesting. I have seen plenty of examples at shows I have attended, and the intracacies of the printed devices is impressive. The ability to use additive technology to produce devices can be time saving and less costly, although you have to figure in the cost of the printer itself. Customization is a major benefit of 3D printing
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