From racing cars to life-changing medical operations, 3D printing is opening up opportunities for businesses to be more creative – and saving them time and money in the process.
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has been in existence since the 1980s, but modern technological advancements in printers and materials have recently created a boom in the number of businesses using it. The 3D printing industry is expected to be worth $21bn by 2020, but how are businesses using it and why? We spoke to SMEs from a variety of sectors for their experiences.
Here, we look at the benefit of the still-developing technology for SMEs.
Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s first ever 3D-printed drug. Aside from being an astronomic breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry, this news comes amid a flurry of similar stories; each demonstrating the growing potential and endless possibilities of 3D printing.
Upon its invention, 3D printing was limited in terms of its usability. Aside from architects building advanced 3D mock-ups, fashion designers producing radical new garment designs, and tech enthusiasts creating toys and other novelty bric-a-brac, the full potential of 3D printing took several months to materialise.