3D Printing at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair
I've been following the advancements in 3D printing for a few years now, but it wasn't until he Hong Kong Electronics Fair (spring edition) this month that I saw firsthand just how popular this technology has become.
At the seminar on "3D Printing Development and Applications," Mr. Andrew Young, VP of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corp., cited The Guardian's estimation that 3D printing could be an $8 billion industry by 2020, and challenged our current thinking about 3D printing by stating it could be used by NASA to print pizzas for astronauts to eat in space!
That may come to pass, but here on earth, Dr. John Zhang, Associate Professor of the Department of Computing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, reported that the 3D printing industry grew 28% in 2012, and suggested that with this technology, the U.S. could beat China in manufacturing within the next 20 years. Many U.S. companies have been utilizing it for quite some time; Boeing, for example, has used 3D printing since 2002. But possible use extends in many different directions.