3D printing has definitely begun to grow in popularity, and you have probably heard of it recently if you had never heard of it before. But will 3D printing really become mainstream in 2016, or is this type of technology still too far out of reach for the common consumer? Continue reading to learn more and to decide if you should invest in a 3D printer that you can use in the coming year.
A Previous Prediction
Just a year ago, experts did not really think that 3D printing was going to become mainstream anytime soon. In fact, many people thought that it would take at least another five years before more people would be exposed to, and able to use, 3D printers. In the meantime, the vast majority of people would continue using things like HP printers and HP printer parts to produce standard printouts. But even though this prediction was made fairly recently, there are new opinions out there now about where 3D printing is headed.
Going Mainstream a Lot Faster Than Predicted
If you had asked experts five years ago if they thought that 3D printing would become mainstream, they would have told you that the idea was a far-fetched one, particularly for the average consumer and a practical manufacturer. But the truth is that the 3D printing technology that is available today is so much more advanced than ever, and it has advanced at such a quick pace that there are now many industries that are already applying the 3D printing process to their businesses.
What 3D Printing is Currently Capable of
As of now, 3D printers can make just about anything, from parts for airplanes, to human stem cells! The possibilities really seem limitless, so there has been a new surge in the popularity of 3D printers, and more people are more interested than ever before in what this technology can do for individuals and businesses around the globe.
What It Means to Hit the Mainstream
What exactly does it mean to be mainstream? Basically, a technology is considered mainstream once it has acquired an adoption level of 20 per cent. According to a PWC survey in 2014, over two-thirds of 100 companies in the manufacturing sector were already using 3D printers. Nearly 29 per cent of these manufacturers also stated that they were experimenting with in-demand technology and how to implement it into their business models.
What to Expect
3D printing has grown dramatically, and it has been predicted that over the next two years or so, there will be more and more businesses that will switch to this new technology. More materials will also be utilized for a wide range of consumer and industrial products. Titanium, in particular, will grow in demand because it is used a lot in aerospace, automotive, and medical applications.
Have you ever seen a 3D printer in action? You may very well have one in your home if the popularity and demand for this technology continues to rise. In fact, it may very well be mainstream by the end of 2016!