Ann- Maybe I sounded cynical, as you explain that $1.98B is based on all data tallied. But isn't all the data at best only theoretical extrapolations? Put more loosely, an educated guess. I think forecasters intentionally say things like $1.98 B instead of $2.0 B because it makes them look very specific, adding credence to the theoretical accuracy. But c'mon. it's just a SWAG.
Don't get me wrong – I also feel the trends they are discussing are heading the same direction they are publishing. It's just that I would not be so bold as to state a twenty year extrapolation down to two decimal places.
Thanks, mrdon. We covered that discovery here: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=260118 I refused to use the term "3D" in the title or the article, because it's pure hype. The technology, however, is not hype.
Totally_Lost, I love your screen name :) Regarding undervaluing, I doubt it, because you are mentioning intermediary/middleman businesses, and market research figures usually measure the products sold, not salaries.
Yes Charles, now the technology is there and its working properly and well tested. Now what they have to do is maximize the speed of the printer. I am sure that it will happen in near future and manufactures will move to printing where will give the more flexibility in changing the designs.
Jim, if Lux says $1.98B instead of $2.0, it's because all the data they put together added up to $1.98B. These are not seat-of-the-pants or back-of-the-envelope figures, nor does it make sense to round off when the difference represents such a huge amount.
78RPM, you're right about NASA considering 3D printing for astronauts. NASA is also using it to make rocket engine PARTS, not prototypes. And thanks for the point about the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) uses--the military is also considering 3D printing for MRO in the field, as several aircraft manufacturers already do.
Cabe, prototypes made with 3D printing have definitely transformed the early stages of manufacturing and design. The next transformation will be in low-volume production parts. I really wonder how hard it will be--or how long it will take--to get increases in both resolution and throughput, especially now there are so many R&D projects going full blast to improve processes and throughput that we might all be wrong about that, too. Stay tuned for some new partnership announcements furthering that R&D.
Yes, Ann, the consumer space is always a bit sexier than the B2B or OEM space, even if it doesn't have as much impact on a market. Eventually it will probably catch up, but in many cases with a new technology (depending on what it is, of course) the consumer market is really the last to catch on to a trend.
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