3D printing to explode in 2014

Here’s what’s holding back 3D printing, the technology that’s supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire, says Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways.

It will be interesting to see where this goes in the next couple of years.



  • nizy

    Patents are only 1 of many limitations that holds back 3d printing. What about the fact that you need decent quality 3d cad models (would you know how to make 1 Jim), that there are severe limitations for load bearing parts (as the part is built a layer at a time, each “joint” becomes a weak point) and that copyright could be a huge problem if consumers ever do use it (what happens when some rips someone else’s IPR)?

    It will certainly grow, like it has for the last decade but explode is taking it way too far.

  • gjgustav

    I can’t for the life of me, imagine regular people wanting to 3D print anything. Seems like a niche market to me.