Just a few years ago, most people believed 3D printing was suited best for prototyping, tooling, and oddball parts. In the coming decade we may see additive manufacturing prove its mettle in mass production.
The coming decade will likely change the economics of 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM). Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal offers a number of predictions for the future of 3D printing and additive manufacturing in the 2020s. For one, he believes 3D printing is sufficiently mature for production. Over the next 10 years, mass production using AM may become a reality and not just a promise. The general belief has been that AM was too expensive to compete with traditional manufacturing methods. Fulop believes those days are over.
What’s changed? Fulop points to the cost of 3D printing technology coming down in price, 3D materials becoming less expensive and more varied, and improvements in 3D printing equipment. We caught up with Fulop and asked him about his predictions for 3D printing and additive manufacturing over the coming decade.