Rapid Prototyping Remains the Largest Use of 3D Printing Since the 90s.

Engatech Application Engineer Barbara Arnold-Feret summarized the use of 3D printing in the 2010s as going “back to the future” but also sounded out new paths for the technology at the DFW “3D Printers and Pastries” breakfast held this morning in Grapevine TX.

She presented to a small group of industrial users of 3D printing, where she detailed that 3D printing remains the technology of choice in developing rapid prototypes of new design.

“Over 80% of all uses of 3D printing remain in rapid prototyping, where the technology is used to prove out design, fit, form and function. While we are seeing growth in tooling and end use parts, the first parts usually printed on new machines are to prove out a design or new idea.” – Barbara Arnold-Feret – Engatech

Citing new machines and materials in the market for 3D printing, she noted that the industry continues to look for faster production, stronger and more durable materials while lowering the cost of making parts via additive manufacturing. She said the recent introduction of Carbon’s and HP’s new equipment has caused speculation within the industry watchers on what the next move will be for leaders such as Stratasys.

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