The History of 3D Printing: A 3D Printing Timeline
With the prevalence of 3D printing and its rapid adoption across industries, it’s easy to think that the technology has been around for much longer than it has. In reality, the history of 3D printing dates back to the early 1980s, and in forty years has grown from a new process used by a select few to a mainstream technology adopted by everyone from hobbyists and engineers to manufacturers and researchers. What began as a relatively simple process has now evolved to encompass everything from bioprinting to metal 3D printers.
We’ve compiled some of the biggest moments in 3D printing history below, as well as projections on where 3D printing is headed in the future. By preparing yourself for industry 4.0, and following along with the disruption of 3D printing, you can help your business innovate, save money and gain a competitive edge.
What Is 3D Printing?
According to Stratasys Direct, 3D printing “refers to any manufacturing process which additively builds or forms 3D parts in layers from CAD data.”
The Future of 3D Printing
3D printing will continue to evolve as engineers, designers, and researchers find new ways to leverage its power for exciting applications in medical, aerospace, automotive, and consumer goods:
- – Continued use of 3D printing in the medical field will help make medical treatment more accessible and enable better outcomes to patients. The ultimate goal in bioprinting? Fully-functioning 3D printed organs.
- – Higher adoption rates of 3D printed airplane parts by major companies looking to produce quality parts at a lower cost.
- – More OEMs adopting 3D printing in the automotive industry.
- – Adoption of 3D printing in the industrial market will continue to grow, with one report estimating that advancement in technologies and an increase in awareness can drive the value of industrial 3D printing market to US $7 billion in 2024.
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About the Author
Lisa Hannon is a marketing manager at Fisher Unitech. She develops content for 3D printing topics that have an impact across all industries that are researching ways to maximize getting products to market faster as well as cost savings with 3D printing solutions. Lisa has worked as a marketing management professional since 1998, most recently with Stratasys.