Re: "The market is forecast to rise from $4.1bn in 2015 to $16.2bn by 2020"
" The cartridge jokes are funny, but 3D printing will change the world within 25 years. We are just at the beginning. New generations of engineers will start designing products in such a manner that 3D printed parts can be used."
Nah, your whole post is way funnier mate :)
Products already can have parts made by 3D printers. It's just kinda pointless since most are better made by other existing manufacturing processes.
"Production nowadays implies that one should buy raw materials from all over the world, produce something, pack it on ships and lorries to get it to the user. With 3D printing, buying goods is like buying software, the manufacturer sends the 3D design to the 3D printer, and one can pickup the purchase at the local 3D print shop. This eliminates a costly, and polluting supply chain."
No it doesn't, it indicates you've got no fucking idea of what you're talking about.
So our current model is:
1. Extract raw materials, transport to processing plant
2. Process raw materials into useful materials. May include being transported and re-processed several times (eg ore -> metal -> alloy)
3. Transport useful materials to manufacturing plant
4. Transport finished products from manufacturer to supply chain
5. Supply chain to retailer to customer
The new thrilling exciting 3D printer will instead do exactly the same thing, except that instead of the manufacturing plant being in a different country, it'll be in the same one. You have a supply chain of the same length, only with higher costs added at stage 3, and less at stage 4. You also have a notably higher manufacturing cost if your desired widget has a demand that can be more easily and cheaply met by some other manufacturing process.
So if your widget is in the ideal annual demand zone (more than 1000, less than 100k), and is perishable (otherwise you'd do a 1 million item run every 10 years), and is suitable to made by a 3D printer, and has had someone design and release the instructions for it, it'll be great.
3D printing is a useful specialized tool. It's a nice hobby too. It's just a very niche manufacturing process, that has *already* had a large impact on industry. There are a couple of 3D printing "shops" around here, none of which turn a profit on 3D printing.
As a direct example, I had a friend who needed about 2000 prop guns from the early 20th century. He has access to a good quality 3D printer (industrial type), and a friendly museum which he could get the relevant pieces to copy from. It cost about a quarter of the amount they expected for the 3D print to get actual firearms* made by Philippians. That's hand making stuff from metal is cheaper than printing plastics.
* there was some misunderstanding, so the samples where fully functioning, causing problems with customs. The rest where blank firers.