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Printing in the Third Dimension: Industry Status and Future Possibilities

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Over the last 20 years a new industry involving the layer by layer printing/growth of 3D products has evolved and a family of technologies has been invented. Collectively these technologies have developed and spread to be known as the Additive Manufacturing industry. The size of this industry is currently estimated to be ∼1Bn per year and growing fast. Additive Manufacturing technologies are providing opportunities that have never before existed across a vast range of sectors, the consequences promise to be profound. Processes based on inkjet, lasers, digital light projection and other technologies will be described and examples from the broad array of applications where they are being used will be shown. The talk will then focus on the technologies that are based on inkjet printing explaining why they have grown in recent years and why they are likely to be at the core of future growth of the industry. Factors such as key business drivers and overall process flexibility that have been key to the growth of the 2D inkjet printing industry will be discussed in the context of the Additive Manufacturing industry. The presentation will conclude with some indications of where inkjet could play a role in the future of this expanding industry.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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