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Commercial Use of 3-D Printing Expected to Grow

Friday, October 2, 2015
Commercial Use of 3-D Printing Expected to Grow

Today, 3-D printing is commonly seen as a technology solution that can be utilized by businesses in limited capacities, such as to quickly create a new prototype. However, a Wohlers Associates report estimates that the commercial market for 3-D printing will rise from $3 billion in 2013 to $21 billion in 2020.

Though many manufacturers have used 3-D printing in limited ways, as technology advances, experts believe that it can work its way onto assembly lines; GE and NASA already use 3-D printed parts in their air- and spacecraft.

As 3-D printing continues to evolve and become less expensive, it could impact manufacturers of all sizes. The ability to create a product or replacement part without the need to maintain a large, physical inventory can result in substantial savings, and the rapid nature of 3-D printing may someday blur the line between prototypes and products.

There are risks to consider with any new technology, including 3-D printing. In order to become mainstream, manufacturers will have to consider 3-D printing’s potential for unhealthy air emissions, intellectual property (IP) litigation and cyber security exposures for manufacturers that maintain a digital inventory of products and blueprints.

Contact your Horton Group representative today to stay informed about advances and trends in the manufacturing industry.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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