3Dprinting is not new, it has existed for 25 years and has been in use to create prototypes for many years in all the major corporations. What has changed over the last few years are both technical and financial barriers. This made 3Dprinting feasible for smaller businesses and even enthusiast individuals. Gartner’s hype cycle not only describes current 3Dprinting hypes but started distinguishing different aspects of 3Dprinting (i.e. industrial, consumer, bio printing and medical).
I firmly believe business should not enter 3Dprinting because of a hype. Instead 3Dprinting can offer unique opportunities beyond the original use of creating prototypes. Some of the examples are replacements of broken products unavailable in a reasonable time, creating unique design objects such as jewelry or creating tailor made objects that can help in ever da life.
Due to the hype not all businesses entering or adding 3Dprinting have a good understanding of possibilities and limitations of the different available 3Dprinting techniques. As knowledge and stories about the success and failure of 3Dprinting spreads. Techniques become better and easier to use and implement.
3Dprinting is already great when properly used and integrated in your business and the future will be even better.