Thirty years have passed since 3-D printers first appeared, but only recently have they hinted at a new era of manufacturing.
The first working 3-D printer was created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp., Morrisville, N.C. This early device, based on stereolithography, gave way to the first truly practical 3-D printing, or “3DP”, technology patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. Since the start of the 21st century, there has been a large growth in sales of these machines as their prices dropped substantially. Today, 3-D printers have become more of a staple in the current manufacturing space, while still piquing hobbyist interest. The 3-D printing process usually works by selectively binding powder particles together, layer-by-layer, using a high-resolution inkjet printhead. A thin layer of powder is spread across the build area specified by CAD software, creating layers.
Propelled by the promise of inexpensive, highly customizable manufacturing, the 3-D printer manufacturing industry has surged over the past five years, driven by rapid technological developments, falling costs and new applications for 3-D printing technology. The 3-D printing industry has grown at a faster pace than expected, reaching about $2.2 billion worldwide in 2012, according to market research from Wohlers Associates. In the U.S., IBISWorld reported the 3-D printer market in 2014 at $1 billion with a CAGR of 22.8% over the period of 2009 to 2014. While still a small industry—as far as standalone 3-D printer manufacturers with 6,933 employees and 50 businesses—3-D printing is increasingly used in medical device and aircraft manufacturing, and is becoming a staple in some manufacturing processes.
The editors of R&D Magazine surveyed their readers to see what trends are important in the 3-D printing industry.
The Latest on: 3-D Printing
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The Latest on: 3-D Printing
- MIT demonstrates 3D printer capable of selectively applying glosson December 4, 2020 at 6:48 am
While 3D printers, especially resin 3D printers, are capable of producing objects in incredible detail, one area where they've struggled is producing shiny objects. Some new breakthrough research from ...
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- Lab study of droplet dynamics advances 3-D printingon December 4, 2020 at 5:09 am
A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists has simulated the droplet ejection process in an emerging metal 3-D printing technique called "Liquid Metal Jetting" (LMJ), a ...
- Global LMD 3D Printing Market Size 2020 Global Industry Share, Revenue, Business Growth, Demand and Applications Market Research Report to 2026on December 4, 2020 at 3:41 am
Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry." Global “LMD 3D Printing Market” ...
- Researchers create ingredients to produce food by 3D printingon December 3, 2020 at 12:45 pm
Food engineers in Brazil and France developed gels based on modified starch for use as ''ink'' to make foods and novel materials by additive manufacturing ...
- This 3D printer doesn't gloss over the detailson December 3, 2020 at 11:19 am
A new 3D printing system enables realistic variations in glossiness across a 3D printed surface. The advance could aid fine art reproduction and the design of prosthetics.
- Anycubic Photon Mono review: Anycubic holds your hand for resin 3D printing beginnerson December 3, 2020 at 5:09 am
Anycubic, one of the first companies to enter the consumer level LCD-based resin printers is back with a refresh and a redesign of that first printer, the Photon. The Photon Mono has a slightly larger ...
- Researchers measure electron emission to improve understanding of laser-based metal 3-D printingon December 3, 2020 at 5:05 am
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have taken a promising step in improving the reliability of laser-based metal 3-D printing techniques by measuring the emission of electrons ...
- MIT 3D printer can vary glossiness across a printed surfaceon December 3, 2020 at 4:44 am
D printers are common today, and they can produce shape and color reasonably well. While shape and color are two of an object’s three most noticeable visual features, the other is gloss.
- A new 3D printing Kickstarter is going to change the world, maybeon December 2, 2020 at 10:00 am
Creality is known for its budget 3D printers, but its latest Kickstarter, the PrintMill, is completely taking us to a new level. Ever since I learned that at-home 3D printing was a thing, I have been ...
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