From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Although analyst predictions differ, all are in agreement that the 3D printing industry is growing and likely will continue to grow at a notable pace. Wohlers Report 2014, for example, puts the worldwide 3D printing industry at $3.07 billion in 2013 and anticipates that figure will reach $12.8 billion by 2018 and over $21 billion by 2020.
Another mechanism to measure the popularity of 3D printing in its variety of forms can be found by looking at how popular these sorts of projects are on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform. Without fail, the most popular of these projects are funded at seven or ten times the amount the originator hoped to raise. Most received funding within a thirty day funding window and some were funded in minutes. By every measure, 3D printing has captured the hearts, and pocketbooks, of technologists all over the world.
Click on the image below to review the top 10 most successful Kickstarter projects over the past 12 months:
What place do you think 3D printing will take in the OEM electronics market? Let us know in the comments section below.