3D Printing Market

Overcoming Challenges Within The 3D Printing Market

03 January 2020
3D Printing Market

3D Printing Market

The 3D printing market has been expanding drastically over recent years, with a CAGR of over 25% that's expected to remain steady for years to come.  Businesses are discovering a wide variety of uses for 3D printing, for everything from prototyping to producing spare parts for their own machinery.  

Not every business needs a 3D printing setup, but an ever-growing number of businesses are finding uses for them.  Even more could join in, except for some perceived challenges and barriers standing between them and 3D printing adoption.  

These include:

Expenses

3D printing is still widely perceived as expensive to adopt, and that leads many companies to decide the technology is not a good fit for their needs.  However, costs for 3D printing setups have been dropping drastically in recent years, while quality has been improving.  Smaller businesses, for example, are discovering that desktop-sized 3D printers can fulfill their needs, on a very small budget.

Additionally, 3D printers are seeing long service lives within businesses that adopt them, so the ROI is usually quite strong.

Knowledge and Expertise

Possibly the biggest barrier to businesses looking into the 3D printing market is a lack of expertise on-site capable of productively using these systems.  While the systems have become easier-to-use in recent years, they are still complicated machines and do require specific knowledge to operate. Additionally, knowledge of 3D modeling software is also necessary to get the most use out of 3D printing systems.

A business in this situation has two fundamental choices: hire outside, or train internally.  Experienced 3D printing specialists are still expensive, so training is usually going to be the better option - at least as long as time is not of the essence.  Fortunately, the explosion of online learning systems means that there are plenty of ways for a willing employee to learn.

Intellectual Property

We occasionally see businesses who are wary of adopting 3D printing because of a concern that they could violate IP rights.  However, generally speaking, this can be avoided simply by not using model files downloaded from the Internet.  Anything produced in-house should be fine.

However, this does reinforce the need to have actual trained staff operating the 3D printer.  A company will be taking risks if it relies on downloaded models.

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Kelloggs
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Daimler
BASF
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