Although the revolution that is 3D printing is still somewhat in its infancy, 2014 is poised to be a big year for this ground-breaking technology. 3D printing in the UK and abroad has found a home with designers and inventors as a means of rapid prototyping for new products, but in the consumer market there has been little produced by any 3D printing service which serves a useful purpose to the man on the street. However, all that is likely to change this year, as major shifts in the 3D printing service industry start to form the shape of things to come.
What’s Changing With 3D Printing in 2014?
The biggest catalyst for change in 2014 is the fact that a number of key patents are due to expire this year. Certain patents formed at the beginning of the 3D printing revolution have restricted access to the most advanced and functional technologies for many companies, hampering competition in the marketplace and strangling innovation. The most notable of these is a patent which covers a technology known as laser sintering. This low cost, high performance 3D printing technology has the potential to produce refined products that are suitable to be sold as finished items. The access to this technology will enable more competition in the marketplace, driving down prices and raising innovation to new levels. As well as this there are a number of other key changes and developments on the horizon which are likely to change the face of 3D printing in the UK and abroad for years to come. Here we run down some of the predictions for trends in 3D printing services UK wide as 2014 rolls on.
6 Bold Predictions for 2014
Small 3D printers like the Form 1 could become common sights in modern homes
The introduction of colours and mixed media
Stratasys have developed technology that can 3D print with mixed materials and a wide range of colours
New scales of printing
The International Space Station (ISS) is getting its own 3D printing technology to help astronauts manufacture parts away from earth