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The Future Of 3D Printing

3D Printing - 12 December, 2022
The Future Of 3D Printing
Vicki May
12 December 2022
3D Printing

First seen in the early 1980s, 3D printing has become globally prevalent due to the numerous advantages it offers compared to traditional manufacturing processes. 

3D printers are being used by more people and industries each year; however, what exactly does the future of 3D printing hold?

What Does The Future Of 3D Printing Look Like? 

As 3D printing technology and techniques evolve, they will become faster, bigger, and cheaper. 3D printers will benefit millions of people throughout various industries over the coming years due to their decreasing costs, increasing capabilities, practicality, and overall usefulness. 

By 2030, the entire 3D printing market will be unrecognisable compared to current iterations, with their effectiveness and sustainability continuing to improve over the next decade, and many expect the technology to seamlessly handle new and complex materials. 

Current iterations of modern 3D printers are exceptional; however, they remain relatively slow, expensive, and complicated to operate.

Today, 3D printing is commonly used to produce various advanced prototypes, dentistry equipment, and automotive parts; and is frequently used in manufacturing and mechanical engineering industries, dramatically increasing its functionality yearly.

Modern 3D printers enable individuals and manufacturers to produce radically unique designs of which they were previously incapable. 

Despite the critics, most industry experts unanimously agree that future 3D printers will permanently and positively change society as we know it.

3D Printers Will Become Faster, Larger, And Cheaper

While it should be accepted that no one can accurately predict the future of 3D printers, they will undoubtedly become faster, larger, and cheaper over the coming years. 

Since 3D printing was first demonstrated in the early 1980s, additive manufacturing technology has continuously developed.

At the same time, worldwide demand for specialised 3D printers and their accompanying materials has increased. The unique combination will result in additional 3D printing options, developments, and functionality.

As with all highly demanded technologies, 3D printers will likely become cheaper to operate and purchase while simultaneously becoming more useful within industrial-grade manufacturing processes.

Future 3D printers will offer extensive capabilities to numerous industries while significantly lowering traditional market barriers to entry. 

While additive manufacturing processes have traditionally been associated with high costs, future 3D printing processes will be faster and in much higher demand, decreasing the machine’s prices. 

Furthermore, as more industries and businesses use future 3D printing technology, its versatility, practicality, and adoption rates will skyrocket.

Once the costly and complex support structures linked to current 3D printer models are permanently removed, the machine’s range of application will significantly increase, enhancing the additive manufacturing industry as a whole, and drastically decreasing costs and printing time.

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Will Advance Global Supply Chains

Technology industry experts foresee future 3D printers benefitting companies operating in various manufacturing industries, global supply chains, and sustainability in general. 

Future 3D printers will enhance the entire manufacturing industry’s efficiency. To take full advantage of their benefits, additive manufacturing companies will require numerous models with alternative capabilities. 

Additionally, if businesses within various industries effectively enhance their collaborative efforts, future 3D printers could use a wider range of materials. While global collaboration between competing industries and businesses is rare, it would assist with the speed of 3D printers’ development and adoption rates. 

3D printing’s indisputable advantages can be maximized by linking current competing 3D printer software. Moreover, engineers must improve production automation, integrated practicality, and post-processing techniques. 

The main advantage of future 3D printers will be evident in how they modernize traditional supply chain approaches. Future 3D printers will enable a secure and holistic supply chain platform by seamlessly integrating the various steps into a single automated process. 

Global And Industry Collaboration Will Become Essential

Traditionally, competing industries and companies do not frequently collaborate. However, partnerships will become imperative to maximize the predicted benefits of future 3D printers. 

Global and industry collaboration will assist with the development of 3D printing technology. While collaborative efforts may reduce a business’s competitive advantage, they will benefit probable customers the most. 

It is known that 3D printing technology has previously been shared among competing industries, drastically increasing its popularity, functionality, and practicality. Industry experts note that further holistic collaboration will directly assist with industrial scalability.

Furthermore, effective and continued collaboration will develop industry standards. By implementing modernized industry standards, production data can be pooled. The importance of the required collaborative efforts between competing industries cannot be understated.

Sufficient global co-operations will increase the speed of 3D printing technology development by allowing operators to use various unique materials, improve end-product quality, and increase the machine’s automation capabilities. 

Despite the challenges involved, experts agree that by efficiently integrating current material manufacturers, service providers, and global print farm ecosystems, future 3D printers will positively transform society as we currently know it. 

Cybersecurity And Quality Control Will Be Enhanced 

Various modern 3D printer iterations have proven vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, while others fail to produce a consistently high-quality end product. 

While current 3D printer models were not initially designed to cope with the ever-increasing threat of advanced cyber-attacks, their security will be strengthened. 

Since many predict 3D printers will transform global supply chains, the additive manufacturing process, and the world in general, the importance of appropriate cybersecurity cannot be understated. 

3D printers will become increasingly popular among individuals, industries, and global supply chains. The integration of 3D printers into future societies and business markets is unavoidable, which will, unfortunately, expose the technology to numerous cyber-attacks. 

If 3D printers cannot cope with all future cyber-attacking techniques, their prevalence and adoption rates will significantly decrease. 

Despite current cybersecurity vulnerabilities, future 3D printing software will be developed to the point where major industries do not need to worry about their data ownership or intellectual property rights being stolen. 

As with most modern technologies, digital data collection and control will become more vital. As more data is safely collected and stored, general quality control of the end product will be dramatically enhanced.

Essentially, future 3D printers will become standardized as the years and technology progress. Future 3D printers’ associated cybersecurity and standardized automation quality control will continue along its exponential development curve, drastically increasing their societal influence. 

Global Supply Chains Will Become More Resilient 

Previously, 3D printers have been successfully used to solve various global supply chain issues, with their functionality and practicality predicted to become even more influential in the future. 

The additive manufacturing process benefits companies, markets, and critical global supply chains. In the future, 3D printers will offer additional advantages to global supply chains as they can be closer to end consumers. 

Traditional global supply chains are known to rely heavily on industrialised manufacturing technology.

Since future 3D printers will increase the reliability and overall performance of additive manufacturing, supply chains can immediately be shortened. The shortened supply chains are cheaper while offering more resilience to future market volatility. 

Physically stored inventory remains the fundamental weakness of any traditional supply chain. However, future 3D printers can seamlessly fill any inventory gap by using additive manufacturing, which can instantly create the same product on demand. 

Since supply chains will require less physical inventory to be held, their costs will decrease while traditional barriers to entry will be minimised. 3D printers will dramatically influence future supply chain resilience, as inventory can be digitally stored and instantly transferred. 

Global And Industry Sustainability Standards Will Progress 

Future 3D printers will increase supply chain resilience by dramatically shortening them, indirectly enhancing sustainability while decreasing traditional carbon emissions. 

Shortened supply chains financially benefit most industries; however, they will simultaneously reduce any associated carbon emissions. Furthermore, worldwide industry sustainability standards have become harsher due to the negative impacts of human-induced climate change. 

Future 3D printers will directly and permanently impact global supply chain sustainability standards since they minimise most waste products while being surprisingly lightweight. 

Future 3D printers will be more practical, with operators able to move them close to end consumers while significantly reducing physical inventory requirements. 

As 3D printing technology progresses over the coming years, its numerous positive impacts will become more evident. Many foresee that reusable, recycled, and biodegradable materials will become more popular as 3D printing technology advances. 


The future of 3D printing is looking bright and full of potential. 

As the technology and techniques continue to improve, 3D printers will likely become faster, bigger, and more affordable, making them more accessible to a wider range of industries. 

Experts predict that the 3D printing market could look wildly different by 2030, with the technology becoming more efficient, sustainable, and able to handle a wider range of materials.

Currently, 3D printing is used in various industries, such as prototyping, dentistry, and automotive, but its capabilities are constantly expanding and the future has the potential to bring new and unique designs, as well as advancements in manufacturing and supply chains.

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