3D printing market to hit $3 billion by 2018

If you think that 3D printing is just a fad, or that it's too specialized of a technology to truly make a different in the market in the long run, then you might want to check out the latest report from Global Industry Analysts, which projects that the 3D printing business will reach nearly $3 billion ($2.99 billion) by the year 2018. The US will be the biggest chunk of that market.

"In the coming years, 3D printing technology would evolve to enable printing of metals including precious metals such as silver and gold. Further, low cost techniques are expected to be developed for enabling 3D printing of widely available materials such as paper and plastic. Another area of growth is the medical sector wherein 3D printing technology could be used for developing replacement parts. Potential also exists for companies to penetrate into educational and medical device sectors," GIA said in a press release.

3D printing may still seem like a science fiction concept to the uninitiated, but to those who are willing to open their eyes, it is very apparent that it is here, it is now, and it is exploding in popularity. Everything from glasses to bikinis to coasters to artifical bones to guitars (need we continue?) has been successfully printed from a 3D printer. It's fascinating to watch this next evolution in scientific advancement.