What 3D printing means for the future of jobs

3D printing has created an increasing number of job opportunities since it first entered the market, a trend that is set to continue. In 3D printing, three-dimensional solid objects are created from digital files and multiple layers of material are used to produce the objects in question. It’s expected the industry will be worth more than $25 billion by 2021.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process. This means the objects are created with the addition of materials. Once the designs have been created on computers, the files are sent to 3D printers. The materials and designs determine which techniques are used. One big benefit of 3D printing is that it has been increasing the speed at which tasks are completed in the workplace, enabling a large number of prototypes to be quickly created. When successful, products can reach customers quickly and revenues generated swiftly, giving companies more confidence to invest in recruitment.

Another key advantage of 3D printing is the risk of producing substandard products is also lessened thanks to the process, in turn reducing waste and enabling companies to spread their budgets further. All printing can be overseen by one member of staff, freeing up other team members to focus on priorities elsewhere.

How 3D printing is changing the workplace and creating jobs

3D printing can also free up physical space in the workplace. Companies that specialise in this field don’t need to store backup machines on site if their systems break down. They can instead download files and print parts so their machines can be fixed. Growing numbers of people are now becoming involved in 3D printing – becoming researchers, designers and engineers. Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly important around the world, and more and more uses for 3D printing are being identified. The number of job ads seeking staff with additive manufacturing skills increased by more than 1,800 per cent in the first half of the past decade. It means industrial engineers, software developers, designers and mechanical engineers are in demand.

A growing need for 3D printing specialists

As 3D printing continues to gain prominence, it’s expected more and more companies will be seeking out developers to create software used to operate machines. There may also be a growing need for manual workers who can handle prototypes and parts while operating printers. More research and development opportunities may be created, with new ideas on how additive materials could be used emerging all the time.

The military have embraced 3D printing over recent years, with the process used to create everything from weapons and food packaging. The costs of 3D printers have plummeted over the past decade too, with machines that once cost tens of thousands of pounds now setting consumers back just a few hundred. It’s expected that the decline in prices will continue.

Embraced by a wide range of companies

A growing number of companies from various sectors are looking at ways to make 3D printing work for them. 3D printing serves a wide range of purposes, not just limited to the creation of models and prototypes, although these have been largely responsible for the market’s recent success. Companies are also able to commit to short product runs without spending more than they can afford. It means they can see how goods perform on the market before creating bigger runs.

3D printing is also being used to create products that help companies manufacture other items, including tools. Another key benefit of using 3D printing is that it allows us to make products that cannot be made using other traditional methods.

Transforming markets

3D printing has been embraced by a diverse range of industries, with aerospace being one of the most enthusiastic. Engine parts have been made from components produced via 3D printing, as have combustion chambers. It has also shaken up the medical world, with additive manufacturing being used to produce organs, bones and more. 3D printing has seen a great deal of growth in North America and Europe, with China also showing an increasing amount of interest in it. The fashion, education, construction, energy and art worlds are also taking advantage of this technology. There are also an increasing amount of entry-level jobs available in additive manufacturing. In fact, research carried out by i-AMdigital found that 68 per cent of vacancies in the sector were entry-level and that the industry was growing at a rate of almost 27 per cent. Meanwhile 89 per cent of executives acknowledged a talent shortage. Such a wide gap means those with the relevant skills, experience and willingness to learn can expect to earn sizeable salaries.

Central Scanning’s role in 3D printing

At Central Scanning, we can help you meet your 3D printing requirements. The company was founded back in 2006, and we are proud to offer a highly attentive, efficient and professional service. Ours is a comprehensive offer for 3D scanning and have access to world-class equipment including the sub-millimetre Surphaser large volume engineering scanner. We can carry out 3D scanning in our temperature-controlled lab or on-site – whichever works best for you. We are also able to recommend a third-party trimming and tooling service thanks to relationships we have built with a wide range of quality providers. Our specialist software allows us to quickly process 3D data into a triangle mesh or STL file. We can cater for you whether you require 3D printing, 3D modelling, animation or comparison to CAD services.

Get in touch with Central Scanning today

To get in touch with Central Scanning today, simply give us a call on 01527 558 282 or send an email to info@central-scanning.co.uk. Alternatively, complete the form on our website.

You can also stay in touch with the latest developments at Central Scanning by following us on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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