It's been more than 30 years since the invention of 3D printing, and yet in some ways the technology is still a frontier of unexplored potential.
According to a new report published by UPS and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 3D printing is already a $7.3 billion market, expected to grow to $21b by 2020. The report argues that “3D printing has the potential to shake up supply chains by positively impacting parts manufacturing, inventory costs and lead times.”
Now Fira de Barcelona, the Catalan city conference and trade show organization, is launching In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions, a new event focusing on the future of Additive and Advanced Manufacturing. The show will be held from June 21st to 23rd at the Italian Pavilion of Fira Barcelona in Montjuic.
The new show is co-founded with HP, a newcomer into the 3D printing market with its new Multi Jet Fusion technology. HP's 3D printing efforts are not directed at consumer level products, but rather to large format printers that can be used for industrial prototyping, and production of specialized parts.
As Ramon Pastor, vice president and general manager of HP 3D Printing said: “HP is committed to advancing the state-of-the-art of 3D printing with a disruptive technology and an Open Platform that will drive collaborative innovation with materials and software partners. To this end, platforms such as In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions are key to enabling productive dialog amongst industry players, and encouraging open discussions to resolve common 3D printing industry challenges”.
HP has its worldwide 3D printing development center in the town of Sant Cugat del Vàlles, in the Barcelona metropolitan area, where the company previously manufactured its large format printers. Since the production of those printers moved to Asia a few years ago, the old factory has been converted in a new hub for 3D industrial printing solutions. Now over 600 engineers from all over the world work in Sant Cugat to develop the next generation of industrial 3D printers.
The In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions show will have a conference area where experts will discuss the state of the 3D printing market and solutions. The event will showcase 50 different solutions from innovative companies in the areas of Retail & Consumer Goods, Healthcare, Automotive & Aeronautics, Architecture & Habitat, and miscellaneous.
Also in the In(3D)ustry show there will be an Innovation Marketplace, where entrepreneurs will show innovative Additive & Advanced Manufacturing solutions in the field of new materials, new forms of manufacturing or digital process. According to the show’s website, “It is a meeting point where major corporations and specialized investors will meet the Best Innovative Additive & Advanced Manufacturing solutions.”
One of the most sought after applications for the industrial 3D printing is related to manufacturing of high-end consumer devices such as smartphones, which constitute an estimated 35% of total consumer electronics sales. Consumer electronic manufacturers are now looking into new materials and equipment to create new products that can be entirely manufactured on 3D printers, as the average 3D printer production speed is expected to increase by 88% by 2023, and metal 3D printing is expected to grow faster than plastic.
I believe the In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions show will provide the perfect environment to explore all these solutions and new initiatives. I'm looking forward to the show and see the solutions exhibited, and attend the conference sessions.
Take a look at the video below for more details.