In this article looking at the future of 3D printing, Lee-Bath Nelson advises on the need to smart about Distributed Additive Manufacturing.
Earlier this quarter the Wohlers Report for 2017 came out – this report is much anticipated and quoted in the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem (and, yes, I will quote it too…). Shortly thereafter, Sculpteo released their State of 3D printingreport based on a survey of 900+ companies with an average budget of under $10k/year for 3D printing. To varying degrees, both these reports (and others analyzing this ecosystem) are missing the bigger revolution that is happening under our noses and that will only accelerate over the coming 5 years. Its impact is huge.
This revolution might be harder to see since it is mixed in with a much more mature, prototype and maker, market that is served by 3D printers which can muddy the view when reading these reports, especially the one from Sculpteo. We’ll get back to these reports in a bit, but let’s first consider the impact this ecosystem already has and could have within 5 years on business at corporations that use Additive Manufacturing (AM) for manufacturing.