“The rate of technological progress is increasing” (Taylor n.p). The idea of technological advancement is a concept that many have come to terms with. The rate of change of technology is what many find difficult to cope with. The trend of technological advancement has defied the linear perception of time and is having an exponential growth that has left many in awe.
There is a trend in the world of technologies that is unfolding relentlessly creating new ideas that are being marked as the next big thing. These technologies have the potential of disrupting established technologies and even alter the way people live. The technologies can sustain and improve or disrupt the existing technologies leading to an entirely new products and services (McKinsey & Company 1). 3D printing is a technology that has been around since 1980s but it was until 2010 that the 3D printers became commercially available. Since then, the technology has had impacts that have captured the attention of many because of its science fiction connotations. According to another source (Sandhu), 3D printing is an important concept that has potential not just for its current capabilities, but for the future. According to technology trends, 3D printing opens up ideas that will alter human life as well as bringing with it many complications as it develops.
For some time, 3D printing has largely been a reserve for product designers and hobbyists and for a few select manufacturing applications. However, this has been improving as the additive manufacturing machinery is expanding with the range of materials increasing and prices for both printers and materials decreasing (McKinsey & Company 8). Due to this, there has been rapid adoption of 3D printing by both consumers and manufacturers. In 3D, production is easy as the process moves from design file to finished product without the traditional manufacturing steps.
3D printing technology is trending and there is an indication of upward growth with shipment of printers expected to grow tremendously. The report titled "Global 3D Printing Market: Trends and Opportunities (2012-2017)" observed that the 3D printing market is geared to rapid prototyping, mergers and acquisitions as well as increased innovative use of 3D printing technology in diverse industries (PRWEB). The report forecasted an increase in demand and revenue 3D printers explode in popularity and more customers. Major companies in the 3D printing segment like Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation and The ExOne Company are expanding their businesses and are reaching out to various geographical markets. This upward growth and expected revolution in the 3D printing industry can be attributed to the implications of the technology.
An analysis by McKinsey Global Institute, noted that 3D printing has an estimated global market worth potentially double that of renewable energy, and greater than new gas and oil exploration and extraction. With this analysis, the growth and trend of 3D...