Research and consulting firm CIMdata predicts that engineers will be increasing their use of PDm (product-definition management) software and services 25% over the next three years. The total market for PDm alone will be about $118 by 2006, according to CIMdata. Part of the larger PLM (product lifecycle management) category of engineering applications, PDm encompasses collaboration tools and the general sharing of product information. All the major CAD developers offer such tools.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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