IBM Sees Exponential Growth of 3D Printing Industry
More than just a tool, 3D printing is an emerging ecosystem.
– Paul Brody, IBM on the exponential growth of the 3D printing industry
At the Siemens Global Innovation Summit in Phoenix, IBM’s Paul Brody gave a look at how manufacturing transformation is changing the traditional rules of product design and development.
Brody highlighted 3 technologies: 3D printing, intelligent robotics, and open-source engineering.
On 3D printing, he discussed key trends:
- 3D printing is rapidly achieving levels of performance required to be production-ready
- 3D printing is already used in production for medical devices and aerospace
- Performance is improving year on year
- At lower volumes, unit costs are competitive with machining and plastic injection molding
He also dove into trends on open-source and crowdsourcing, asserting that 80% of consumers told IBM they are willing to help enterprises develop their products. Brody claimed, “Accept their help or see them build your competition on Kickstarter.”
IBM had partnered with The Economist to analyze the growth rate of open-source design repositories, namely Thingiverse, and found that the number of 3D printable items is on an exponential upwards path while complexity as measured by number of parts is on a steady increase.
Paul Brody’s full talk is embedded below and more research from IBM is available here.