3D Printing in 2016: Schoffer‘s Predictions

3D printing in 2016

slack-imgs.comWho is Filemon Schoffer, you might ask… well, he’s Head of Community at 3D Hubs.

And 3D Hubs? That’s the world’s biggest local 3D printing network for people who don’t want to buy a 3D printer. You upload a design to their website and choose a print location. The design then gets printed by someone in the network (currently are 24,987 3D printers available). After some time, you can it pick up. More than 50,000 products made through 3D Hubs’ distributed manufacturing network and over 150,000 digital 3D models were uploaded.

We asked Filemon Schoffer what will happen in 3D printing in 2016.

These are Filemon Schoffer’s predictions for 3D printing in 2016

Looking at my predictions from last year I can conclude that I was far too optimistic. Not that 2015 was a bad year for 3D printing, not at all. However, it was not revolutionary neither.

Looking back, for example not that much happened on 3D scanners. The first desktop SLS indeed hit the market (like Sharebot Snow-white or Sintratec), but too late and on a too small scale to make a real impact. Not many consumer brands have yet jumped onto 3D printing. 

For 2016, I’m less ‘quick’ in my predictions than I was, so:

  1. At this point, I do not expect many consumer brands to jump on board with 3D printing. It will remain mainly experimental throughout 2016 for mainstream applications. 
  2. Most development / new applications I expect in the designer and engineering niches.
  3. I do believe SLS desktop printing could continue to grow significantly. I also very much hope this. 
  4. In a broader sense (also with the recent patents expiring) more ‘industrial’ technologies can become wider spread and used for a broader range of applications. 
  5. I think FDM will continue to grow but also saturate. Some companies active in the FDM field might look forward to a tough year.
  6. Most innovation for FDM I expect in filament (companies like colorFabb)
  7. (Industrial) Metal printing will continue to grow in attention and development.

If you want predictions from long-time 3D printing journalist Rachel Park, please read on here.