The Impact Of 3d Printing On The Digital And Consumer Markets Essay

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1. Introduction

Additive layer manufacturing, also known as Three- Dimensional (3D) printing, provides a unique fabrication process that allows users to produce structurally complex components by the successive fusion of layers [1]. This technique offers businesses and consumers the ability to quickly develop custom components on demand and at a lower economical cost [2]. In 2016, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) report indicates that, out of 71% of US manufactures implementing 3D printing and 42% believe the volume of 3D printer use will increase in the next three to five years [3].
The impact of 3D printing can already be seen in both industrial and consumer markets [2]. The 2015 Wohlers Associates report stated that 32.5% of all Additive manufactured objects were used for functional components. Additionally, the report detailed the 3D printing industry accounted for $5.165 billion of revenue [4]. The aviation, medical, automotive, and manufacturing industries are currently utilizing 3D printing [4-9]. Airbus, within the aviation industry, recently produced the world’s largest 3D printed cabin component. The component produced is a dividing wall that sits between the passenger seating and galley. General Electric is currently 3D printing jet engine fuel nozzles and forecast that 100,000 parts will be created by their Aviation division using 3D printers by 2020 [10]. Since 2014 NASA has been researching the ability to print on demand components in space utilizing a 3D

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