The 3D printing industry has been reported on recently due to its successes in the market. It was said that the 3D printing industry would grow by another billion dollars due to personal 3D printers being purchased by enthusiasts. Moreover, an instructor from an Engineering Design Graphics department at San Jacinto College says that 3D printing could be thrusting the world into another industrial revolution.
William Buel, the instructor in question, in an interview with Chron, said: "In the future you will see whole factories running only 3D printers to design, run, modify and finish products. 3D printing is already becoming very useful for rapid prototyping. Now if a company wants to build a new product, we can draw and print the prototype within hours to see if it works, rather than sending it to a machine shop, waiting months and then having to start over. In 10 years, every home will have one."
However, a small hitch for companies who supply 3D printers was highlighted this week. A company that many had hope in called Makerbot, who actually built 3D printers, announced that they would stop production and outsource the making of printers to another company named Jabil.
The announcement blog post written by the CEO of Makerbot, Jonathan Jaglom, stated: "To achieve our long-term goals, we also need to be able to navigate the volatility of an emerging market. Working with Jabil will position us to better manage rapid change in our industry and reduce our manufacturing costs to compete more effectively in a global marketplace."
The CEO further confirmed that the 3D printing market "has been very volatile". Strange, considering the Wohlers Report 2016 said that the 3D printing industry grew by 25.9%, and assured the public that the industry is not in decline.
Makerbot was initially the company that gave hope to the industry and said that your regular joe would be printing a plethora of items in the luxury of his/her own home. Then the company retrenched 20% of its staff, and it has struggled to surface due to the amount of printers being ordered since then.
In other 3D printing news, a Chinese startup company is releasing a material known as Polysmooth. Allegedly, the new material can be used by any third party printer to ensure that whatever is printed has no rough edges or any other issues. The idea is to refine the process due to current 3D printing practices churning out objects which are rough to the touch. The company says that their new material 'self-polishes' the materials when put it into the printer. Check out their: Kickstarter