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Why you'll never buy a 3D printer

Lucas Mearian | June 29, 2016
The consumer 3D printer market, which has even tried to connect itself to video gaming, still seeks 'killer app'

"As applications become more advanced and complicated, people don't just want a prototyping printer, but a solution they can build into their workflow," Miller said.

For example, Align Technology 3D prints 175,000 Invisalign dental braces every day.

Earlier this month, 3D printing service provider Sculpteo released its annual State of 3D Printing report, which collects survey responses from the general public from late January to late March 2016.

This year, Sculpteo received more than 1,000 respondents.

The survey found that the primary uses for 3D printing remain prototyping (50%) and proof of concept (30%), with manufacturing production coming in third (20%). Companies responding to the survey revealed that 93% of organizations believe 3D printing gives them a competitive advantage, and the top priority for professionals using 3D printers is faster product development.

"People and companies that are adopting 3D printers are routinely realizing the tremendous time and cost savings in their product creation and development cycles," Greene said. "As printer speeds increase and the range of materials expands, a growing number of products and parts, and therefore markets, will be impacted by 3D printing/additive manufacturing."


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