Last June, 3DPA launched a campaign to invite stakeholders to share their priority agenda for advancement of additive manufacturing in Europe for the coming year(s). The feedback that 3DPA has been receiving since then is helping to shape the future of the association.
The campaign continues till after TCT & Personalize 2016, but here is a sample of the input received so far from the campaign and follow-up discussions:
• The business-to-consumer market is beyond the hype. The notion that every household will have its own 3D printer is subject to revision. As one observer put it: “By the time you have printed your own coffee cup to serve your visitors, they have long gone home”.
• 3D Printing should move from being ‘esoteric’ to becoming mainstream. As another respondent was quoted: “Every household will only invest $1500 if there are a number of objects that can be easily (plug and play) printed and which are needed in the home and that provide an ROI in a 6-9-month period.”
• In the current transition phase, there is a hybrid state of business-to-business applications.
• On the one hand, new and creative start-ups are coming and going, as the driving force behind materials and technology innovation. On the other hand, established players are working hard to create a sustainable business model. Several of them have established their own B2B communities and networks connecting thousands of users to co-develop, improve and market their proprietary solutions.
• One respondent said: “In our opinion, the up-to-date AM is at the top of its own overrated expectations. In spite of the fact that many customers consider the AM methods as ‘breaking through’ and crucial for the new technological revolution (technological system), their influence in terms of the world-wide manufacture is so far insignificant. The development of scalable, high-speed methods (..) requires new original decisions. (…) For a great number of materials and the AT processes large-scale studies are required (..).”
• “Against this background, firstly, standards are required to industrialise AM by creating a common vocabulary and facilitate process and material qualifications and certification.”
• “The second priority, but of equal importance”, this respondent continues, “must be education. Integrating AM/3DP in pre-university education as part of an experiential learning curriculum spanning engineering, mathematics, history and the sciences is not only an opportunity to engage young learners in a non-traditional manner but will also be where the next great ideas come from.”
The ‘I AM 2017’ campaign closes on 1 October, after TCT & Personalize 2016 in Birmingham. To share your input, go to this link. We look forward to your contribution to the debate!
Last year, The 3D Printing Association held an on-line survey to assess stakeholder input about the viability and priorities for an independent, member driven organization for 3D printing in Europe. The outcome of this survey can be obtained via this link.
The 3D Printing Association will be exhibiting at TCT & Personalize 2016, stand F51.