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Nine Astonishing Facts About 3D Printing

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 09-11-2014 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    Rapid Expansion
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    Rapid Expansion

    Worldwide shipment of 3D printers is expected to reach just less than 100,000 units this year. It is expected to double in 2015.
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    Sales Surge
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    Sales Surge

    The 3D printing market is expected to grow at 23% annually through 2020, reaching $8.4 billion.
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    Markdown
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    Markdown

    While commercial 3D printers cost $15,000 or more, their price should fall to less than $2,000 by 2016.
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    History Lesson
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    History Lesson

    The concept of 3D printing dates to the early 1980s, when inventor Chuck Hull issued a patent for "a system for generating three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed."
  • Previous
    Lucrative Idea
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    Lucrative Idea

    Hull's company, 3D Systems, now commands more than $460 million in total assets and $230 million in revenues.
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    Scaling Down
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    Scaling Down

    The Photonic Professional GT 3D printer can create objects with widths as thin as a human hair.
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    License to Print
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    License to Print

    The James Bond movie, Skyfall, used 3D print technology to produce models of 007's famed Aston Martin DB5 luxury grand tourer.
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    Something to Talk About
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    Something to Talk About

    In Belgium, biomedical specialists implanted a 3D-printed titanium jawbone into an 83-year-old woman.
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    Tasty Tech
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    Tasty Tech

    NASA has made 3D-printed pizza to feed astronauts in outer space.
 

While it's a relatively emerging technology, 3D printing is already revolutionizing the very concept of how we make things. Also known as "additive manufacturing" and rooted in a process known as stereolithography, 3D printing is expected to explode into a multibillion dollar, global market before the end of this decade. Even better, the pricing for these machines is expected to take a big tumble as the concept goes increasingly mainstream. So if they haven't already, CIOs need to bone up on these and other astonishing facts about 3D printing, as organization leadership is increasingly viewing this technology as a faster, better, cheaper way to make everything from homes to artificial limbs to food to musical instruments to cars to clothes to jet engine parts. Our facts combine the anticipated numbers behind the technology with some of the more compelling—even colorful—examples of its deployment. They were compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Nokia and 3D Print Headquarters, a clearinghouse of information about this tech niche. For more about the Nokia posting, click here. For more about the posting from 3D Print Headquarters, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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