Last week’s poll: 3D printing

The government has been urged to formulate a policy on 3D printing, as this technology begins to become more widespread in industry. Where is its influence most likely to have the biggest effect?

Smaller companies are likely to benefit most from 3D printing technology, according to respondents to our poll last week. The largest proportion of respondents, 57 per cent, sais that the technology would most likely be used to help companies develop prototypes and get new products into production. The next largest group, 21 per cent, said that it would be used to make small, complex components, while 16 per cent said that it would be used to build spare parts on demand. Only 7 per cent said that it was likely to be used to build large, complex components such as aircraft wings.

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What’s your take on this technology? Is it a new era in manufacturing, or a niche technology that will find relatively small application? Let us know below.