Small Businesses Continue to Find New Uses for 3D Printing Technology
Will.i.am, the pop-star and tech entrepreneur, believes 3D printers will one day be as commonplace as microwaves
. For now, however, the growth market is for small businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve.
Will Boswell, CEO and founder of the design firm Taylor Boswell in Bentonville, Arkansas said, in an article for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, that his firm used to design projects for clients and send them elsewhere to be printed. Now, however, the design firm prints the projects in house with their MakerBot Replicator 2, which the firm bought last year for approximately $2,700.
Taylor Boswell is not alone in their use of 3D printers to reduce costs and increase production. Jordan McDowell, a technician at H Perry’s Jewelers in Fayetteville, Arkansas uses a 3D printer to make original designs for customers. McDowell herself even designed her own engagement ring.
IBISWorld, an industry research firm, reports that 3D printing related revenue has increased 22.8 percent since 2009 and expects additional growth of 19.2 percent this year. The major drivers of this growth continue to be falling prices and increased technological development. Commercial printers start around $15,000, but can quickly exceed $100,000. Meanwhile, Sam’s Club lists a small consumer model on its website for $998.
According to IBISWorld, the industries currently taking advantage of 3D printing include consumer product companies, health care, transportation and architects; however, the possibilities are limitless. Even human body parts can now be 3D printed.
On the long term future of the technology, Boswell echoed will.i.am. and predicted that one day 3D printers will be just another household staple.
For the article on how local Arkansas businesses are making use of 3D printers, visit http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/feb/01/local-businesses-find-uses-for-3d-print/?f=news-arkansas
For more information about Ice Miller’s Additive Manufacturing/3D Law practice
, please contact Ice Miller.