The democratization of 3D printing

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3D print appeared around the end of the nineties, in the industrial sector. It has developed in the beginning of the 2010 decade and is today more and more used in the small and medium companies.


All business sectors are affected by this technological change. For instance :

-Everyday objects : phone covers, toys, jewelry ... Companies offer 3D printing starting from your idea of the object. It is also possible to directly purchase the finalized object. Amazon launched in 2014 in partnership with the French company Sculpteo, sale of printed 3D objects on its site.

-Fashion:  Clothing, shoes... The creators have no limits to their creativity anymore. This technology allows them to create unique pieces, without being limited of shapes.

- Food. Printing with sugar or chocolate, everything is possible! Barilla is developing a printer capable of producing pasta with unique shapes. Even NASA is interested in this process in order to feed its astronauts into space.

- Building. WINSUN, a Chinese company, built a 4-story building using 3D printing. Allowing production costs and reduced labor, the use of this technology in this area is certainly in its early stages.

-Pharmaceutical industry. A professor at the University of Illinois, Martin Burke, has developed a molecular 3D printer. His ambition: an online sales site that will allow everyone to produce its own molecules.

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Realizing the potential of this market, national policies are put in place to develop this technology. Barack Obama has expressed his wish to see the 3D printing centers multiply in the United States to boost innovation and create new jobs. Singapore provides a support plan of $ 500 million over 5 years. In Britain, more than 15 million pounds will be invested to build a dedicated center.

This printing technique is for some people at the origin of a third industrial revolution. It is true that ongoing developments promise a lightning evolution.

At the beginning, prints were made with plastic. Today, usable materials are changing : carbon fibers, nylon, titanium, iron, gold, silver ... It seems there is no restrictions anymore!

It is now possible to choose ecological printing, based on algae, a co-invention of FabShop and Algopack. Another field of innovation, bioprinting, which consists of printing living tissue.


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The retail market

3D printing used to be dedicated to industry and professional field, particularly because of its high cost, but now developments on this technology allows it to invest the private market.

According to a study of the British firm “Context”, sales of personal 3D printers have increased by 24% for the first quarter 2015. This year the 220,000 units sold should be reached. The Western Europe is now representing 20% of sales.

Low-cost printers development can definitely confirm these predictions. Many players are already competing for this market. A newcomer has been on the market since in February 2016, the Tiko. You can find it at the competitive price of 179 dollars.

At this price, would you be ready to purchase a 3D printer?


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The construction of a building with a 3D printer by Winsun co


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