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Here's Why 2016 Could Be 3D Printing's Breakout Year

Date:2016-01-14 Hits:488
Here's Why 2016 Could Be 3D Printing's Breakout Year

Personalized consumer products will push businesses toward 3D printing.

For large companies , 3D printing has proved to be a useful tool for prototyping new designs . 3D printing is finally starting to live up to consumer hype—not necessarily when it comes to people purchasing 3d printers for home use, but rather in small- to mid-size businesses bringing 3D printing into the manufacturing process. In that way, 3D printing will play an increasing role in 2016, even if the technology isn’t overtly advertised as part of the process.

The overall 3D printing industry continues to grow. By 2020, the market for 3D printers and the accompanying software is expected to eclipse $20 billion, according to consulting firm Wohlers Associates.

3D printing technology has slowly taken on a bigger role in areas where mass customization is important for consumers. Shoe companies like New Balance are experimenting with 3D-printed midsoles. Jewelry startups are using computer-aided design and 3D printing to let customers design pieces in plastic to try on before a final casting in metal. And for companies like Normal Earphones, 3D printing has proved to be a cheaper means of manufacturing personalized products.

In 2016, look for 3D printing to be adopted by more businesses who make goods, especially customized ones, for everyday consumers.