2016’s numbers are in and they show that the fourth industrial revolution is here to stay! A Forbes article puts the number of 3D printers sold in 2016 at approximately 300,000 copies and both domestic and commercial 3D printers accounted for this growing numbers. So first and foremost, let us congratulate you or your 3D priting and filament industry organization for taking the first step to becoming an active participant in the next industrial age which additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing, is ushering in.
As with all developing processes, every participant—experts, beginners, and organizations—are the initial stakeholders as well as the door-keepers on how the developing industry progresses. This means as a 3D printing enthusiast, hobbyist or manufacturer, we all have roles to play in pushing the boundaries of the fourth industrial age. This means every participant has a role to play in eliminating the current limitations the industry currently faces such as; reducing operational costs, building more eco-friendly 3D printers, developing stronger and more durable filaments etc. And what are our roles in this defining moment?
As beginners to 3D printing, the part you have to play involves seeking knowledge on how 3D printers work, learning about the must-have tools needed for an effective 3D printing workstation, and experimenting directly with a 3D printer in real-time. Your devotion to learning the basics will go a long way in helping more manufacturers of 3D printers and filament makers understand the struggles beginners currently face.
As a 3D Printing Enthusiast/Hobbyist, you would have already mastered most of the basic concepts associated with 3D printing as well as employed them in diverse situations to create your own 3D printed models. If you are reading this and believe you fall into this category, then it is important that you catalog and pass your acquired knowledge to the upcoming generation. There are different mediums you can employ in transferring your knowledge to the 3D printing community and here are a few; blogging about 3D printing, teaching in youth camps or corporate retreats and becoming an active participant who provides answers to questions asked in any form.
Manufacturing organizations who have already embraced the tenets of 3D printing also have their work cut out for them in advancing the fourth industrial age. And it includes, spreading knowledge on the commercial application of 3D printers coupled with its benefits, recording innovative 3D printing techniques, tools and materials with a view to providing anyone interested in additive manufacturing, with enough information to get started. Which takes us to the important topic of the moment; the state of the filaments we use and expected trends for 2018 and in this, all our collective effort is needed.
So how can you help? Filaments.Directory is dedicating the next few months to collecting the necessary information on the filaments or materials we use in developing our 3D printed models. To do this effectively, we have gathered a couple of incisive questions covering filaments, how we access them, the type we hold dear and how we use them. And this is where you come in. We would like to hear from virtually everyone who has ever used a 3D printer and any filament type to create 3D objects for your knowledge and experiences is valuable to us all. To lend your voice and experience to this project—dedicated to the state of the printing materials we use—, you can simply dedicate a little of your time to answer the pertinent questions in the survey located here.
We would like you to also note that there are benefits to lending your voice to this worthy cause. And these benefits include:
- Learning more about specialized filament
- Understanding more about your filament budget and how it is expended
- Learning about the best filaments for your particular industry
- Access to the complete report on the state of filament
- Helping the 3D printing industry grow from strength to strength.
To answer the questions we have for you, simply complete this survey and it would also be appreciated if you can share the survey to your 3D printing family and friends through the different social media platforms available. We would like you to also note that the final results of the survey and its analysis will be provided on the Filaments.Directory blog.