This has certainly been an exciting year in the world of 3D printing. It has seen some impressive growth. You just need to look at 3D printing shares like those from Organovo, on the NYSE to see this.
In October we wrote a blog post titled Impressive Growth of 3D Additive Printer Sales and back in March we wrote: How 3D Printing Has Evolved in the Last 10 Years. If you haven’t read them yet, take a quick peek and in the first article you’ll see a few charts and graphs which immediately indicate the massive growth the 3D printing industry has seen in recent years.
Even here at 3D Print HQ a quick look at our website analytics shows that our monthly website traffic in November 2013 was 29.8 times that of in January of the same year! We have you to thank for that and are extremely grateful for your support.
3D Printing Technology Pre 2014
Not only have we seen growth in the popularity of 3D printing in 2013, we have seen some very impressive technological developments, many of which we have covered here at 3D Print HQ.
Here are just a few of the many pioneering developments in technology we have covered this year:
- 3D Printing Using Chocolate
- 3D Micro and Nano Structure Printing
- Creating Human Organs Using 3D Printing
- The Liberator 3D Printed Gun
- NASA to Develop 3D Printing Using Moon Dust
- Creating 3D Objects with Your Mind
- 3D Printing the Houses of the Future
- NASA to Engineer 3D Printed Space Food
- 3D Printed Liquid Metal and Stretchable Electronics
- 3D Printed Heart Implants at Nottingham University
- Body on a Chip: 3D Printed Miniature Organs
- 3D Printed Optics and Touchscreens
- An Open Source 3D Printed Humanoid Robot
If you wish to read more about any of these you can just click on the links and we’ll take you straight to the original article.
Aside from technology, let’s not forget that the art world has took an increasing interest in 3D printing this year, from Fashion, to Endagered Animal Skulls, to Cuckoo Clocks. No doubt we’ll see much more 3D printed art in 2014 too.
Looking Forward to 2014
So, what exciting 3D printing developments should we expect to see in 2014? That’s a good question and in this fast paced industry it’s anyones guess. However, there are a few areas we at 3D Print HQ would really like to see progress further in 2014.
As a freelance software engineer myself I’m particularly interested in seeing improvements in the Tools and Software used to create 3D models from real world objects.
For example when we wrote about the MIT Student Who 3D Printed High Security Keys from just a few photographs we were very impressed. 3D printing a key is easy, but developing software to print them from a few photographs is some achievement.
I’d also like to see more developments in 3D Printing Robotics. Again, I guess that’s partly because I specialised in artificial intelligence at university.
An area I confess to knowing little about, but one which I find fascinating is Bioprinting Human Organs. If bioprinting really takes off it could transform the medical world like we have never seen before and it is already looking very very promising.
I think we would all like to see 3D printing become far more mainstream in 2014 too. With large companies like Asda (we’ll write about this soon), Maplin, Amazon and McDonalds all showing an interest in 3D printing we have seen it become far more mainstream in 2013 than ever before.
Until we start to see more 3D printers in peoples homes, being used for real applications (not just printing plastic toys) then I for one won’t be satisfied.
Thanks for Your Support
We at 3D Print HQ hope we can contribute our small part to seeing 3D printers in every home, maybe not quite in 2014 but some time soon.
Before I go I’d like to thank a few people.
May I give a personal thanks to our writers, in particular Matthew and Abdul, who have contributed most of the amazing content on our website and without whom, we wouldn’t have seen any growth ourselves this year.
Thanks to all those around me, who have supported me and who have been very understanding when I have spent time working on our website, when I could/should have spent the time with them instead.
Finally, I’d like to thank you. Without you and all our other readers 3D Print HQ wouldn’t even be here today. Thanks especially to those who have liked/followed/shared us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Every bit of support helps us spread the word and helps us towards our goal of seeing 3D printers everywhere.
Thanks for reading and may we wish you a very Happy Holiday, a Happy New Year and an exciting 2014! Please don’t hesitate to share this and leave a comment below.