However, Stratasys officials also noted that industry, government and academia need to continue collaboration across key areas to help realize the potential economic impact from accelerated use of additive manufacturing. These include efforts to educate industry on the viability of existing and developmental 3D printing technologies, and strengthen STEM education to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
“Additive manufacturing or 3D printing can fundamentally change many aspects of the manufacturing process,” says Stratasys CEO David Reis. “It brings new agility and efficiency and can help manufacturers keep production at home. It is imperative that 3D printing technology providers, manufacturers, universities and government work together to help fulfill the promise of this impressive and impactful technology and strengthen our economy and manufacturing. Stratasys is actively working to that end.”
“Additive manufacturing technology is becoming more and more accessible, and poised to usher in an era of new opportunity for manufacturers in the U.S.,” says Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “Manufacturing is at the center of our national conversation, and it is innovation and technological advancement that will keep it there.”
According to Lux Research in its recent report, “Building the Future: Assessing 3D Printing’s Opportunities and Challenges,” 3D printed parts will be an $8.4bn global market in 2025 led by the automotive, medical and aerospace industries. Stratasys believes that greater industry awareness of 3D printers’ capabilities, advancements in materials, and increasing affordability will play a significant role in driving this growth.
“Many talk about additive manufacturing as a ‘disruptive’ technology, but these are the same production materials that many engineers and manufacturers are already used to working with,” says Jon Cobb, executive vice president of global marketing for Stratasys. “In our view, additive manufacturing will not replace many of the traditional manufacturing processes, but rather complement how a good portion of manufacturers are delivering products to market in a more efficient and customized way.”
Keywords: additive manufacturing, U.S. manufacturing, manufacturing resurgence, 3D printing & supply, supply chain management