Executive Summary – A Strategic Initiative for 3D Printing
Three dimensional or 3D printers are gaining momentum in the market for rapid prototyping and manufacturing especially in consumer, industrial, medical and military markets. There are low-cost desktop versions that are accessible for homes, small offices and schools. This printing, also known as additive manufacturing, defines the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data. This technology tool has the potential to streamline and expedite products into the marketplace and have a dramatic impact on design, manufacturing, availability and warehousing of products. Personal 3D printer growth (units typically costing less than $5K) is exponential with rapid adoption and use by educational facilities and businesses for early learning laboratories and prototyping. Home lobbyists are also adopting the technology for the design and printing of parts and devices. Larger and higher quality industrial and professional grade machines are used for large scale design, manufacturing, and warehousing opportunities.