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The Future of Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing

By Unblocked Hub

August 3, 2022


  Recent reports and developments show that Additive Manufacturing development is gaining momentum and is a departure point in the next ten years. Hints of the future A recent Economist, cover story, "Get me a Stradivarius" is the imagination caught in the world of politics. The 2010 Ganter report described 3D Printing as a transformational technology cycle in Hype's Technology Trigger stage (i.e. just 5-10 years after mass adoption). Those involved in Time Additive Manufacturing research, instead, a "Trend to Enlightenment" emerging from a "Pit of Disappointment", two major developments recently sparked widespread interest in Additive Manufacturing:


- **Direct Metal Additive Manufacturing:** 

Direct additive manufacturing of metal components has been done in the last five years. Engineers are now able to produce fully functional. These technologies will continue to evolve, as we will see more industrial adoption of Additive Manufacturing, as components from titanium and various steel alloys have traditionally produced counterparts with equivalent material properties.


- **Desktop scale 3D Printers:** 

Adoption of long-standing technology, such as Direct Metal Additive Manufacturing, is removing the barriers to materials-related, the cost of recently emerging desktop-scale 3D printers. Thanks to expired intellectual property and these open-source (and crowd-sourced) projects, Additive Manufacturing technology can now be purchased for around $1,000. Interest in 3D Printing has skyrocketed because of this low price point. In the past, big design and manufacturing companies could use a technology as more and more hobbyists could interact.


The complexity and cost of the Additive Manufacturing process are important for bringing technology to the masses. Significant developments will continue to be made in both directions over the next five years. Metallurgy develops with our basic understanding of process control and “direct metal” processes will continue to progress. These cutting-edge technologies are emerging as essential design and manufacturing standards to gain wider acceptance and use in industrial applications. On the other hand, quality and complexity will continue with parts created by desktop machines. These systems will also have a wider deployment over the next 5 years. To primary school classrooms and then to homes. While these two technical paths will continue to evolve separately, their seemingly contradictory end goals, a small-scale direct-to-metal 3D printer, will spread over the next few decades.