While 2016 might have been a trying year in many ways, one of the major silver linings has been the amazing advancements in technology, perhaps most notably in additive manufacturing. As necessary as it is to look back on the past year, however, it is also important—not to mention exciting—to look forward to 2017, which holds the promise of even more amazing innovations and AM advancements. As is customary at the end of the year, research and advisory firm Gartner has released its predictions for 2017 and, in the field of 3D printing, they look pretty positive.
The overall consensus of the 19-page-long report, called “Gartner’s annual predictions about the future of 3D printing”, is that 3D printing will continue to advance and grow within a wide range of industries over the next years, including in the industrial manufacturing industry, the medical sector, and more.
Key highlights of the report include the projection that by 2020, 10% of industrial operations will integrate robotic 3D printing technologies into their manufacturing, 30% of internal medical implants and devices will be 3D printed (and increasingly printed on location), product introduction timelines will be reduced by 25% because of 3D printing, and a whopping 75% of manufacturing operations across the globe will integrate 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures for the production of finished goods.