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Is 3D Printing Disruptive Technology?

Infographic: Is 3d Printing Disruptive Technology

Is 3d Printing Disruptive Technology

Technology moves at an extremely fast pace. However, particularly when it comes to adoption, technology seems to only inch forward sometimes. 3d printing will likely revolutionize the way we prototype and manufacture, but it takes some time for industry and individuals to get on board.

The above infographic makes the point that right now we are only partially into the typical adoption curve. It took about 35 years to reach an average of one personal computer per person in the US. While it is not statistically accurate to superimpose that same adoption curve on the 3d printing market, it does give us some insight.

At that rate, it looks like there would be one 3d printer for every five people in the US by 2023 or so. By 2040, we’d have nearly full adoption. In other words: it takes time for a technology to truly be disruptive. We’ll likely see 3d printing fall off the map in the hype cycle, and re-discover it when it is ready to conquer the latter part of the adoption curve.

It’s hard to predict revolutions. In 1943 Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM, boldly predicted “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”. Not a bad guess, but he was only off by tens of billions of devices.

Original graphic from: Farnell

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