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5 Big 3-D Printing Trends To Watch In 2021

As the 3-D printing industry finds a higher profile after the COVID-19 response effort, opportunities to bring the technology to market are increasing for solution providers.

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What’s Next For 3-D Printing

Seeing the opportunity to assist with producing critically needed medical supplies, the 3-D printing industry stepped up in 2020. In fact, the 3-D printing response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic may have been a “pivot point” for the industry, said Tim Greene, a research director in the hardcopy solutions group at research firm IDC. The advantages of 3-D printing have been on full display: the technology has shown its ability to rapidly move from design to production, while producing supplies wherever the needs are located. While actual unit shipments of 3-D printers were down in 2020 amid the upheaval from the crisis, Greene expects to see a rebound in 2021—not to mention a lasting positive impact on the 3-D print market over the longer term. “So many companies are thinking about their supply chain. They experienced a disruption, and now they want to make it so this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

For CRN’s Printer Week 2021, we’ve rounded up five of the biggest 3-D printing trends to watch in the coming year.

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