By Brian Albright, Field Technologies
The future for 3D printing applications looks bright. But, how and when will they impact field service operations?
3D printing technology is rapidly being embraced in a number of markets. Canalys Research has forecast the worldwide market for 3D printers, associated materials, and services will reach $5.2 billion this year, up from $3.3 billion in 2014. The market will have a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent through 2019, reaching $20.2 billion.
Also referred to as additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing has been used to produce everything from prototype parts and prosthetics to jewelry molds, medical implants, aircraft parts, and toys. A company called Local Motors even printed an entire car (minus the powertrain and tires) on the floor of a trade show.