A recent article by Keith Geddes in The Engineer’s Letter questioned the long-term sustainability of 3D printing. He contends that the present state of the industry implies the view of 3D printing as merely prototyping, and therefore, not much longer than an evolving, albeit relatively stagnant, manufacturing service. In the future, he says, “we will all be digital” (by which he means that everything we do will be done via computer and not by physical pen or pencil). He also points out that additive technologies “will dominate printing as the way that things are produced”, and that the present model of desktop publishing will be superseded. The digital revolution will have adherents. But, as with all revolutions, what comes after is anyone’s guess.
3D printing sentiment index services seem to project that 3D printers will perform better in the coming years. By subscribing to a 3D printing sentiment index, one can see the opinions of people worldwide about the three different types of additive technologies currently available (i.e. solid ink, thermoplastics, and surface prints).
3D printing is growing at about forty per cent annually, which pales in comparison to the other technologies mentioned above, which are all growing faster. However, it does illustrate the increasing importance of additive technology to the modern manufacturing process. The report points out that the printing process will become more interactive and present a wide variety of possibilities for businesses. It may even allow a manufacturer to build prototypes and get quick feedback from customers and outside designers. The future of printing is indeed clearly arriving soon.
By the time of publishing this article, it is projected that the printing industry will expand at a faster rate through the coming years. If this prediction comes true, it is bound to be very interesting. One can only imagine the ramifications of this development. In order to understand why, it is first necessary to understand what the effects of this growth will be. These effects will impact the way that businesses operate. The following article briefly discusses some of the ways that printing will change over the coming years.
In the coming year, it is estimated that the printing market will grow by about twenty-five percent. This figure is based on a study conducted by the IDS UK, a business association. It is believed that printing will grow faster than the materials market during the coming year but will remain a bit slower than the materials market throughout the coming years. One reason why the materials market is likely to grow faster is the fact that there are more new products and innovations in the printing processes being used today. Other contributing factors include lower costs of production, faster delivery times, a large base of suppliers, and a more versatile model for printing.
A significant factor that could slow down or halt the growth of the printing industry during the coming years is the increasing price of the materials that are required to print. As we have noted before, printing will increase at a faster rate than the materials market, which will lead to an increase in the price of various raw materials. In addition, printing companies will also be required to reduce their overheads. If these factors continue to hold steady, it is possible that the total revenues of the printing industry could fall by as much as twelve percent.
There are two main factors that could result in a decrease in the printing industry’s revenues during the coming years. The first is the drop in the price of raw materials. With the recent global financial crisis, it has become more difficult to get raw materials at reasonable prices. It is also becoming harder to convince companies to invest in new technology that will help them increase their productivity. Consequently, there is a growing risk that the economy of the printing industry will suffer a hit, which will lead to a reduction in the number of companies that undertake print-related activities. If the number of companies that are involved in printing decreases, the competition between them will increase, and this will result in price wars.
The second factor that is expected to impact on the revenue of the printing industry is the rise in the number of companies that outsource their print-related activities. Outsourcing printing and graphic design is one of the most cost effective ways of improving the quality of the products produced by companies. However, it is increasingly important for companies to take note of the fact that they have to keep their costs down to a minimum, if they want to retain a competitive edge over their competitors. The lower the cost of the materials used, the higher the production rates will be, and the better the quality of the finished products will be.