With the start of a new year, we often look back on the past year’s achievements and speculate about the year ahead. There are loads of predictions for 3D printing 2018 and Kuunda 3D is adding our thoughts to the mix.

Here’s one summary of the industry leaders’ opinions on 2018: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/whats-next-3d-printing-2018-additive-manufacturing-expert-perspective-126680/.

3D Printing 2018 Blockchain Opportunity

Blockchain technology will be used to develop secure online platforms for industrial 3D printing. This allows sensitive designs to be shared securely to take advantage of underutilized 3D printers. Intellectual Property (IP) is a huge issue in 3D printing and Blockchain technology can help to address this. Check out this project working on just this here: http://www.genesisofthings.com/.

3D Printing 2018 Metal Trends

Up until now, 3D printing in metal has been extremely expensive as most machines are well over $1 million. In 2018 there should be increased access to metal 3D printing as the prices of metal printers decreases, extrusion metal printers come on the market, and more printing services (like Shapeways) offer metal 3D printing.

Connected 3D Printing 2018 Trends

Software will continue to be developed to allow connected 3D printing, which will make print farms easier to set-up and use. For example, Ultimaker’s Cura Connect allows for multiple Ultimaker 3 printers to be connected and controlled through a single interface. We expect more innovations like this in FDM 3D printing to get faster and higher volume 3D prints.

3D Printing 2018 Predictions in Kenya & Tanzania

A lot has happened with 3D printing in Kenya in 2017 and we expect this industry to continue to develop and grow in 2018. More printers are in the hands of customers and more and more people are turning to 3D printing to prototype products and showcase their design ideas. We hope this will only increase in 2018 as the economy recovers from an unstable election year and more industries invest in creating new products again.

The Tanzanian economy really slowed down in 2017; many businesses that were using 3D printing shut or were not taking on new projects. We hope this will improve in 2018 and that we can continue to support projects in the medical and health fields with 3D printing.


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