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3D Printing: The Trend for 2016 and Beyond


2015 can be considered as the great leap forward in terms of quality, speed, and abilities of 3D printers. From foods, clothes to even the whole house still contain the product of 3D printing. Although it cannot replace entirely traditional printing methods, it still takes a large part and plays an important role in printing industry.

A look over the improvement of 3D printing in 2015

You can see the improvement clearly through the throughput of printer, quality of outputs and the variety of materials. With enterprise 3D printers, they are step by step advancing and stabilizing their product quality by paying more attention to quality assurance tools.

Stereo lithography is assumed to become increasingly important in 2016?

It is a type of additive manufacturing using layering. This is the invention of Charles Hull, the founder of 3D systems 30 years ago. 85.5 % is the predicted compound annual growth rate for this technology in the period of 2015-2019 and many experts believe that this growth will increase continuously along with the doubling of shipments.

About composite printing, will multiple materials be used?

Besides the improvement issues, using multiple materials is one of the new plans around 3D technology and it can be accomplished with the support of extrusion technology. Some business owners even can have their products printed in a plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber and those products are trading on the market.

About colors, are 3D printers getting better at that?

The technology print in more than one color appears but it is not popular. One is binder jetting, a technology developed by MIT and first commercialized by Z Corporation, a company that was subsequently acquired by 3D Systems. In short, this technology is laying down a light plaster material and jetting it. That binder ink jetted has colors in it.

May the price become more reasonable in 2016?

Enterprise and consumer printers are two distinctive terms. Surveying around the market, there are hundreds of providers working in 3D segmentation try to trade their products under price of $1000. Companies are sprinting in the race on pricing and instead of reducing the cost of the printer; they try to add more value into throughput, materials and better quality. Therefore, customers may not see the significant decline in cost; they will enjoy the improvements in quality, performance, and range of materials instead.

What are the most innovative 3D printing companies today?

That is not an easy question. We can affirm that MarkForged and Voxel8 are definitely innovators. With many other companies, the innovations process is carrying out at every level. Therefore, if we make the comparison, it is quite difficult to say which one is more innovative than another.

What are the most excited things will come in the future of 3D printing?

The answer is in the amazing advancement in metal 3D printing, we apply it to do more than prototyping, to work with wide ranges of products. Metals comes the ability to do more medical implants than we have today. With this innovation, not only the technology and quality assurance are improved but also it is needed for designers and engineers trained in additive manufacturing know the design for building layer on layer and learn about the capabilities of the different devices.

Source @techrepublic.com

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