3D printing is increasingly gaining public interest. As its popularity rises, more stories are released in support of the technology with many predicting that it will revolutionise the way people work and live. However, there is an argument that its future may be over exaggerated. The purpose of this paper is to assess a hypothetical future dominated by 3D printing. To achieve this, various areas are considered. Firstly, the implications of Industry 4.0 are discussed, this being integral to the rise of 3D printing. It is hoped that, through understanding Industry 4.0, more accurate predictions can be made on 3D printing's future. In this essay 3D printing is examined through assessing the limitations and applications that the technology currently possesses, as well as, the future applications many predict. This, combined with detailed interviews with various members of the design community, helps to highlight any weaknesses in the technology giving a more accurate portrayal of the true future of 3D printing.
Thorsteinsson, G. and Page, T. (2018). The Evolution of 3D printing and Industry 4.0.i-manager’s Journal on Future Engineering and Technology,14(1), 1-15.