The future of 3D printing, explained in two minutes (video)

21 Apr 2015

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner Research, recently spoke to Silicon Republic about the changing workforce around the world and technological advancements repositioning industries.

He also touched on the impact 3D printing will have on the production of materials in the future, and how companies positioning themselves now for the shift will reap all the benefits.

3D printing is in its infancy, yet it’s already popping up in incredibly innovative arenas. For example, last week news emerged that, over the next two years, China is to offer each of its 400,000-plus primary schools a 3D printer.

Elsewhere, Intel has been showing off its sensor-heavy Internet of Things dress, decked with electronic spiders that were printed in 3D.

Then there’s the heartwarming tale of a seven-year-old girl with no left arm, who received a prosthetic substitute thanks to some incredible ingenuity and, yes, a 3D printer.

Sondergaard sees endless opportunities for manufacturing, highlighting the role 3D printing could play in the automotive industry. It would essentially negate the need to hang on to costly, space-taking stock.

Instead, you can just print as you go.

“3D printing, interestingly enough, primarily will effect well-established companies in asset intensive industries,” says Sondergaard. “Those are the ones that face the biggest change. They are also the ones, interestingly enough, showing the greatest level of innovation.”

3D printing image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic