LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- Talking here today in regards to the remarkable advancement of the 3D printing sector, analyst Terry Wohlers tucked one name into a listing of likely unit makers that got some by shock: Apple.

Wohlers was introducing at the SPEEDY 3D Publishing Meeting and Expo. Their organization, Wohlers Associates, unveiled its 2015 statement, its twentieth annual, last month.

"I'm not recommending Apple features a product, but may they get into e-commerce? Probably," Wohlers said. "I mean, Autodesk has gotten involved with it. Microsoft, Adobe -- the list continues on. And so the major IT and engineering companies have gotten into this and we assume probably Apple will too.

"I do believe the iPrint will be a good name," Wohlers continued. "You heard it here first."

Another tech giant, Hewlettpackard, declared a year ago it will be delivering a 3D printer. HP's Multi Jet Fusion device will have a way to make generation pieces for corporations, and not simply make the more widespread oneoff prototypes, HP claims.

HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer


These functioning scissors were produced on a HP Multi-Jet Fusion 3D printer

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The marketplace total is growing. The additive production business has quadrupled in sales over the past five years, reaching $4.1 billion last year, of which $2 million originated from machine and substance revenue, Wohlers said. The remainder was from software and companies.

In 2014, 139,584 desktop 3D printers -- defined as charging significantly less than $5,000 -- were shipped, dwarfing how many professional printers, which observed 12,580 items shipped in 2014.

Ofcourse, when it stumbled on income, the change was true. Commercial 3D printers, which could charge hundreds of thousands of pounds each, achieved $1.12 billion in revenue last year; desktop 3D printers earned $173.3 million, in accordance with Wohlers' survey.

Mainstream sectors, for example aerospace and biomedical, are increasing their usage of 3D printing to reduce prices just by-intime manufacturing and to be able to produce brighter pieces that may be redesigned on the fly.

Like, Airbus has made out of 45,000 to 60,000 3D-printed pieces because of its aircraft and improved its chemical manufacturing team to 35 full-time personnel in 2014, up from 20 in 2013.

A prosthetic hand 3D publishing


A prosthetic hand printed on an Ultimaker 3D printer by Refugee Open Ware, a humanitarian advancement consortium that's applying 3D publishing to replace the limbs of people injured in wars around the world. The printer and hand were on-display at the FAST 3D Publishing Discussion in Long Beach this week.

"It's proven technology and it hasnot had problems," Wohlers said. "They're all-in like GE and Boeing are. We feel over 100,000 chemical manufactured areas are flying on Boeing plane today."

Also getting increasingly common are hybrid models, which incorporate CNC tooling, or subtractive production methods, with chemical manufacturing parts. The machines may first 3D-printing a level of content, either parts or metal, along with a running instrument may further refine it whilst the print work continues.

"We Are experiencing lots of organizations only in recent years... announce plans or possess some degree of progress going on," Wohlers said. "It Really Is an appealing moment within this organization."