• According to Gartner, 3D printing for prototyping has already reached the "plateau of productivity," or, the hype has died down and left a solid, commercializable technology. Other mature uses for 3D printing include printing hearing devices, 3D scanning, and a lot of software.
  • However, there's a lot of uses for 3D printing that hold a ton of potential but aren't quite ready for prime time. These include 3D printing of commercial products, retail 3D printing, as well as a variety of applications in the medical field, such as printing out custom prosthetics or bioprinting organs, but they could be in mainstream use in two to five years. From the report: "Some medical 3DP technologies are further from mainstream use, but are equally, if not more, exciting."
  • Gartner's research director believes the key to unlocking 3D printing's potential might not lie in printers, but in the ecosystem around printing: "Advancements outside of the actual printers themselves may prove to be the catalyst that brings about widespread adoption. Technologies such as 3D scanning, 3D print creation software and 3D printing service bureaus are all maturing quickly, and all — in their own way — have the potential to make high quality 3DP more accessible and affordable."

Share This Article