From 3D Printing Industry’s Michael Petch: 2016 was another exciting year for additive manufacturing aka 3D printing. On a personal level, I was fortunate enough to be invited to give presentations to those inside (and outside) our industry. But more importantly I got to meet with many of the individuals involved with 3D printing on daily basis, and with those who are shaping the development of the technology for the coming year and beyond. This week we have some more exclusive interviews with several of those people.
3D printing in transition, shifting business models
Advances in academia remain a key interest of mine and the year provided plenty of reading material in the form of research papers from leading institutions. On the commercial side, the landmark deal announced by GE in September plus continued venture capital and hedge fund activity provided ample opportunity to keep commentators (and lawyers and investors) busy while further validating the 3D printing industry.
2016 saw an incredible number of expos, tradeshows and conferences either dedicated to AM or prominently featuring the technology. During the first half of the year RAPID and AMUG were the places to see and discuss new 3D printing technology first, in the later half IMTS and Formnext were events not to be missed. In 2017, 3DPI will continue reporting from the most important and interesting events.
Government initiatives and 3D printing industry groups such as 3MF sought to advance 3D printing and such programs are likely to continue to bear fruit in 2017. Microsoft in particular are hoping to lure a few more down the 3D wormhole and brought entry level design software to mobile devices with the Builder 3D app. Autodesk have taken a different path and recently announced that the 123D family of apps will be discontinued in March this year, although functionality will be retained as part of the wider suite of applications. Also as we reported, Autodesk’s business model shifted during 2016 to a subscription basis.