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3D Around the World

Manufacturing finished products has the strongest growth potential for 3D printing, with stakeholders coming together due to the scale of such projects.

The Canada Makes network is made up of public, private, academic, and non-profit organizations in a bid to promote additive manufacturing in Canada and help it develop.

In November 2014, CRIQ signed a cooperation agreement with AFPR (France’s rapid prototyping association), a collection of university and research representatives as well as industry. One of the things AFPR does is organize an annual conference that helps it check in with additive-manufacturing stakeholders in France.

Since it was set up in February 1992, AFPR has been involved in a number of information and awareness initiatives. In its first year, AFPR created the Assises européennes de prototyping rapide conference, which has grown into one of the world’s biggest 3D events. The last edition of the conference was held at École Centrale Paris in June 2014.

AFPR members decided to form direct-manufacturing working groups to pool knowledge and know-how within the association. These committees bring together university labs, research centres, technology transfer centres, additive-manufacturing management firms, and manufacturing concerns with past experience of these new manufacturing methods. 

Growth and the World Market

- $4.1 billion in 2014
- Average annual growth over 26 years: 27%
- Time to generate $1 billion: 20 years
- Time to generate another billion: 5 years
- Close to $1 billion in annual growth since 2012
- Projection for 2021: $21 billion

If 3D printing corners only 5% of the world manufacturing market at its peak, there is a potential for $640 billion.

Here are some of the ways 3D printing is used:

3D-printed bronchial stent

Researchers printed a bronchial stent, which got a 6-week-old breathing again before melting away.
Michigan University, United States of America
3D-printed engine repairs

BeAM has come up with a new way to repair metal parts using laser additive manufacturing.
Beam, France
3D-printed jet engines

Australian researchers used additive manufacturing to build two replica gas turbine engines.
Monash University, Australia
3D-printed prosthetic hand

Using a 3D printer, a specialized studio made a prosthetic hand for a child.
Monash University, Australia
3D-printed Shelby Cobra

Local Motors managed to produce a replica of the mythical Shelby Cobra.
Local Motors, United States of America
3D-printed vertebra

A 3D-printed vertebra was implanted in a 12-year-old to replace a vertebra affected by a cancerous tumour.
Beijing Hospital, China