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The future of 3D printing – Six factors to consider

03 November 2022

Recent times have shown those in manufacturing and in the supply chain that 3D printing is becoming a serious manufacturing technology, not only for prototypes but also for small- and medium-sized series. Here are six key trends which are having a major impact on the 3D printing industry and those using the technology.

1. The new era: Bigger, faster and cheaper
3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are developing quickly, and they are getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. Rising demand for specialised materials to fulfil the required properties of end parts will continue to drive forward developments in the range and types of options available.

The key for the new generation of printers, especially industrial-grade solutions, is their ability to handle a greater range of advanced materials, as this opens the door for businesses to benefit from AM, where they previously could not.

Although machine costs remain high, increased print speed is pushing the price of parts down. As more and more businesses switch to 3D printing, these advancements will accelerate. With processes such as dual extrusion, the versatility of 3D printing is growing, and we see uptake in a wider range of industries.

Another trend likely to drive development significantly is printing without the use of support structures, which again broadens the range of applications AM can offer. The potential for cost and time savings is high.

Read the full article in DPA's November issue

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