It's that time again -- time to tuck away the stories of the past year and look forward to what's ahead. In the world of CAD software and workstations, the big news for the coming year includes an increase in CAD demand in several industries, as well as big changes for the 3D printing market and digital jobs replacing more production jobs. Here's a sneak peek into what the headlines of 2015 are likely to look like.
1. The 3D Printing Market is in for Big Changes
According to experts like the Garner research group and other industry leaders, 2015 is slated to be big for 3D printing. Spending on 3D printing technologies is predicted to soar by 27 percent, to reach $3.4 billion USD. The long-term predictions are even loftier, holding that by 2020, 10 percent or more of all consumer products will be available by on-demand production via 3D printers.
Garner also predicts that 217,350 3D printers will be sold during the year, with some industry gurus predicting this number will be closer to 400,000 as 3D printers for the office and home become available for under $300. If large-scale retailers like Wal-Mart or Target start shelving these machines by the next holiday season, the industry could take off even more.
Several industries are very interested in 3D printing technology -- namely the tech industry, pharmaceuticals, and dentistry. Some experts believe that it won't be long until a major company in one of these industries buys out one of the major 3D printer manufacturers to create a company that specializes in 3D printers for one of those specific industries.
2015 might also be the year that SLA technology overtakes the more mainstream FFM and FDM printers. SLA is more expensive, but yields better resolution, more accuracy, and often speedier print times. As 3D printing becomes more important to world markets, the extra price of SLA might be worth the benefits.
The final prediction is that 3D printers will be used to produce more than just plastic productions. New materials like wood and metals will be utilized to produce objects that are more realistic-looking, attractive, and versatile than plastic products.
2. The Global Market for CAD to Increase Substantially
The civil and construction industries are booming with job opportunities for CAD specialists, and other industries, as mentioned above, also provide additional jobs. The year 2015 is likely to see this trend continue, significantly expanding the global marketplace for CAD software, workstations, and workers.
3. Production Jobs Decline as the Need for Digital Workers Explode
Garner also predicts that production jobs will decline by 50 percent, while demand for digital workers like CAD professionals will increase by more than 500 percent. Though technology has often been criticized for taking jobs away from people and giving them to robots, the simple math here proves that technology creates a demand for even more human workers than the old methods of manufacturing. The newly created positions will entail more skills and training and command higher salaries than production jobs, and are also safer, cleaner, and more desirable to many workers.
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