3d printing technology was already being used by the big industrial companies for the sole purpose of prototyping. This technology has slowly been growing and now more materials can be printed other than just plastic. As you can see the technology that has come out more recently is way more expensive than the ones whose patents are over and hence only the large corporate's can use it.
This tech is obviously going to grow as its advantages over weigh its cons ( complexity,cost,scrap reduction). It also has the power to make manufacturing localized, soon people can make their own stuff instead of going to a shop.
Apart from that the printers are going to get cheaper cause the patents will fall off and a lot of companies will jump into it, just like what happened when the FDM patent came off. I think once desktop FDM metal printers come out, the 3d printer will become an household item. Every one will soon be a " Maker ". Better jump into the maker movement now !!
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