WHAT’S NEXT FOR 3D PRINTING IN 2018? THE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING EXPERT PERSPECTIVE

3dprintingindustry.com | 1/2/2018 | Beau Jackson
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Click For Photo: https://3dprintingindustry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/HP-MultiJet-Fusion-3D-printed-parts-in-PA12.-Photo-by-Michael-Petch..jpg

What’s next for 3D printing in 2018? We asked the CEO’s, analysts and other experts in our industry that question.

Their responses give predictions for 3D printing in 2018 featuring Blockchain technology, the Internet of Things, high-speed 3D printers and trends in metal 3D printing.

Nominations - Industry - Awards - Choices

Don’t forget, nominations are still open for the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards, make your choices now.

For 2018, we believe that the adoption cycle for 3D Printing will become increasingly easier, thanks to more automated processes, integrated software, collaborations with partners across industries and standardized processes.

Materialise - E-Stage - Metal - Printing - Photo

Materialise e-Stage for metal 3D printing. Photo by Michael Petch.

While we can’t disclose much of our behind-the-scenes work with customers, we continue to see manufacturers moving quickly toward mass customized production — for medical, consumer and sporting goods — as well as real short-run production with 3D printers. This long-talked-about shift is finally being driven by the availability of high-speed 3D printers and functional new materials that make direct printing of end-use parts that compete with injection molded pieces a reality.

Development - EnvisionTEC - Printer - Manufacturers - Market

In 2018, we believe an even bigger development is coming. EnvisionTEC is one of many 3D printer manufacturers who have been racing to provide the dental market’s first 3D printed orthodontic aligners (not to be confused with aligners thermoformed on 3D printed models). The challenge is real to deliver a material that can directly print aligners with the proper biocompatibility, stability, flexion and strength. We feel confident that 2018 will be the year of the 3D printed aligner.

Also in 2018, the EnvisionTEC team sees a downturn coming in what appears to be an every-few-years hype cycle in low-cost, low-quality 3D printers. Much like the hype around MakerBot climbed for half a decade before trailing off, we’re starting to see a slowdown in the recent wave toward cheap 3D printers. While some of...
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