In this post we’ll share some interesting patterns which evolved in the 3D printing technologies as they happened over the last few years.
The most popular 3D printing technology
The biggest interesting observation is that FDM has established itself as the peoples’ 3D printing technology of choice. FDM based machines ahve made their way in peoples’ homes and offices for good.
Speaking of myself, as a person who witnessed this while being a part of it, this effectively means that when in 2012, when we used to receive all the reasons from customers why FDM isn’t good enough, and today when FDM is solving quite a good bit of users’ problems, it has made us understand how any technology evolves and gets established, how perceptions change, and how limitations don’t mean uselessness. It also showed us how the whole ecosystem comes together to establish or precipitate the adoption of a technology, with technology itself being only one part of the whole story.
In FDM’s case, it is definitely the materials ecosystem. It is the eagerness with which thousands of innovators jumped in to make filaments of all types and sorts, which are compatible with FDM. This simply tipped the balance solidly in favour of FDM, despite all its limitations on paper.
And it is probably one of the first, of not THE first collective commercial success of humanity, when we worked together and took care of various tidbits of the larger picture, and ushered ourselves into 3D printing. This was definitely not the case with earlier revolutions e.g. of the transistor or the computer, when there was a small special group which did most of the load lifting.
Interestingly, the timing also matches with the start of the path for an Entrepreneurial India. This definitely is a great time to be living!
Gartner’s hype cycles for 3D printing
Note that there is a single “3D printing” identified here! This is when the first of our printers was putting out parts, and making it in hands of their first users who loved to be on the bleeding edge like ourselves!
And finally, 2015: