Keynote Declares “Complexity is Free”: 3D Printing Conference (Part 2)
3D Printing Conference Keynote: Complexity is Free
Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems, the world’s largest 3D printing company, opened this week’s inaugural Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York City with the declaration “Complexity is free” in the world of 3D printing. For the first time in the history of manufacturing, he explained, “The machine doesn’t care how complex of an object it makes.” This was only one of many provocative and forward-looking declarations he made in his thirty-minute keynote to open the conference attended by over a thousand industry insiders, enthusiasts, investors and media followers.
Mr. Reichental’s address focused on the many industries that he sees being disrupted by 3D printing. In design and manufacturing, for instance, he said that two-thirds of professional engineers still do not use 3D printing at all, meaning there is considerable opportunity to further penetrate 3D printing’s traditional marketplace. However, in other industries ranging from medical devices to education to fashion to candy making, Mr. Reichental sees even more opportunity to expand 3D printing’s footprint and create fundamentally new and exciting products and businesses.
Other highlights from Mr. Reichental’s address:
- He predicts the 3D printing industry will grow by 8-10 times in the next decade.
- The combination of higher R&D spending, lower time-to-market, higher complexity, greater democratization, and increased focus on sustainability fuels the rapid expansion of 3D printing.
- No single 3D printing technology will address every solution; therefore multiple technologies need to be advanced.
- “Mass-complexity” of designs will fuel demand for 3D printers in industry as much as “mass-customization,” specifically in strength-to-weight concerned industries such as aerospace and automotive.
- Patient-specific medical devices will become the norm thanks to 3D printing.
While at times Mr. Reichental’s address was clearly promoting the achievements of his own company, he successfully made the point that 3D printing is expanding outward from its core in multiple directions and at a very high velocity. And at very least, he made the case for all the conference’s attendees that to better understand 3D printing is to better understand the future of multiple industries, and indeed a very worthwhile way to spend the next two days.
Authored by Brian H. Jaffe, founder of Mission St. Manufacturing and contributor to On 3D Printing.