3D Printing: Let’s talk if you’re participating in this revolution

I am just starting to discover the fantastic universe of 3D printing and its potential game-changing applications, but I am already fascinated!

3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing, has the potential to disrupt global manufacturing in a meaningful way. This breakthrough enables users to quickly, easily, and cheaply produce three-dimensional objects straight from the computer. The possibilities of the technology are, in theory, virtually endless.

  • Some machines can print in over 100 materials, including: rubber materials, hard plastics, polyurethane-like materials, temperature-resistant materials, and opaque and transparent materials.

There are various types of additive manufacturing processes. Generally speaking, 3D printing is where a physical object is created from a virtual 3D model by laying down successive layers of material (hence the term “Additive Manufacturing”).

3D printing is expected to impact nearly every industry. We are still in the infancy of what The Economist labelled the “third industrial revolution”. The size of the global industry is expected to explode in the near future, reaching $5.2 billion in 2020, from $1.3 billion today.

  • This is 4x today’s market in just 8 years.
  • There are several, emerging players in the various segments of the industry, which ranges from design software, 3D printer manufacturers, consumables, marketplaces, measurement technology, to service providers/applicators.
  • Despite the early lead of some players, it’s still early to tell who will be the clear winners when the industry matures.

3D Printing is perceived as a revolutionary and disruptive technology, but how will this technology evolve and affect the world? If you are already leveraging the technology, developing some applications related to this field or simply thinking about it, I would love to talk to you to exchange some ideas and insight. I will be attending this week a workshop on additive manufacturing organized by the CRIAQ (Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec). The keynote speaker is Terry Wohlers, a world-renowned expert in additive manufacturing. I look forward to gaining more insight on this exciting space.

If you are just discovering this field, here are a few good sources of information that will inspire you.

My favorite blog covering the technology:

On 3D Printing http://on3dprinting.com

Some jaw-dropping videos:

Will 3D Printing Change the World? | Off Book | PBS

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs | TED Med

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About Ludovic Dumas

Ludovic transforms innovative companies into world-class organizations. He is an investment professional at an investment firm representing the interests of one of the most successful families in Canadian business. Before joining the private equity world, Ludovic was an investment banker at CIBC and with ING Group’s investment banking team in Frankfurt, Germany. Mr. Dumas was also a management consultant with Deloitte where he worked on corporate strategy, restructuring, market analysis, due diligence, and economic development mandates. Specialties Mergers & acquisitions, capital raise, corporate strategy, entrepreneurship.
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3 Responses to 3D Printing: Let’s talk if you’re participating in this revolution

  1. Shawn Percher says:

    I have had the chance to work briefly with 3D printing. Really amazing tool: it can allow you to create a mock up of your new product (if you are in product development) or even a fully functional prototype (in my case I work with electricals). It can be a great asset to sales presentations as well.
    Is there a drawback? My experience tells me yes. The cost of the machinery versus the high speed change in the industry. The technology is constantly changing and within months, your printer runs the risk of becoming obsolete, if purchased. This means that for smaller to medium sized businesses, you may purchase a printer to then discover that, 6 months later, another printer is capable of cutting the time in half, or to do the work in colors, etc.
    I think that 3D printing is an amazing tool. It is of my personal opinion, however, that for smaller and midsized companies looking to have 3D printing done, outsourcing 3D printing on a per job basis may make more financial sense.

    • Hi Shawn. Thanks for sharing your experiences with 3D printing. Totally agree with you. Not sure we will see many people using frequently a desktop 3D printer anytime soon. For most people, it makes more sense to outsource the job to a local shop that has more experience and more volume.

  2. janiceyip says:

    Insightful post. I’d be interested in seeing how the early adopters in Marketing use such tools.

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