One of the most exciting technologies is additive manufacturing. Also known as 3D printing, it can change the dynamics of how people do things.
Think, for example, surgeons making artificial but biologically compatible organs. It can significantly reduce the dependency on organ donation and may even make the treatment more affordable. Another example is home construction. The process of 3D printing can cut back the project duration from months to days. In turn, it decreases labour costs without compromising quality.
For this reason, the UK considers additive manufacturing one of its most important growth industries.
3D Printing Grows in the UK
Reports from companies and the government have revealed the impact of 3D printing on the country’s growth. A Siemens report suggested that it might boost the manufacturing sector to reach more than £400 billion within the next 10 years.
Meanwhile, the government showed in its data that adopting the technology could increase the number of jobs to almost 180,000. The industries can also experience growth by as much as 3% each year. One of the primary reasons is the availability of 3D printing parts from companies, such as RAM Peripherals LTD. This allows companies to build their machine and make it more cost-efficient.
3D printing in the UK is also competitive. In Europe, it ranked second in terms of adoption after Germany. Other popular countries such as Sweden, Italy, and France did not even make it to the top five. In the domestic market, Britain took the third place after South Korea and Italy.
Facing the Challenges
In spite of these achievements, UK still has a long way to go, including overcoming the challenges it faces in additive manufacturing.
For one, less than 18% of the companies have experienced or worked on additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Industry leaders are also concerned about the lack of specialised skills or training in running 3D printers as well as companies that are cautious about investing in such technology.
Additive manufacturing is already gaining traction in the UK. What the country needs to do is for the companies to be more open to how it works and for the government to provide different types of support including education and training.