The possibility of 3-D printing’s evolution from a tool to create jewelry and spare parts to one that can print cars is redefining the scope of several industries, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan. Only after 2020, however, will the technology reach a tipping point and begin to print complex metal systems and large aircraft parts.
The new study, Future of 3-D Printing—Key Implications to Industries, predicts the market will see a three-fold increase in revenue to reach $21.50 billion in 2025.
The aerospace/defense and automotive segments are among the early adopters of 3-D printing technologies, the firm says. Using these technologies, companies in these industries have realized significant time savings in developing prototypes and experienced shorter product development cycles.
With improvements in supporting technologies, 3-D printers will become faster and more accurate, and as a result be better suited for mass manufacturing practices. Because 3-D printing technology is in an early stage of development, it can’t directly compete with traditional technologies in the manufacturing sector, the report says. In addition, while the costs have fallen dramatically since 2007 and made manufacturing-on-demand a reality, they’re still too high for many.
“It is important to lower cost of ownership through establishment of global standards for 3-D printing raw materials,” Robin Varghese, senior research analyst in Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Research Group, said in a statement. “This will fuel mass adoption of 3-D printers in the household and allow more manufacturers to document, relay and realize demand in real time, eliminating the need to store finished products based on forecasted demand. Such standards will also lead to the emergence of numerous standalone 3-D printing raw material manufacturers.”
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