3D Printers

The future of 3D printing, 14 industry experts tell us what they expect for additive manufacturing in 2017

At 3D Printing Industry we speak to many people in the 3D printing business and community on a regular basis. We asked 3D printing experts about what they think will happen in additive manufacturing this year.

Here are the responses from 3D printer manufacturers, 3D printing service bureaus, 3D printing material companies and more.

Let us know in the comments below if you agree with these predictions for the future of 3D printing, or alternatively tell us your thoughts about how 3D printing will develop this year.


For multinational Ricoh the “3D business is one of the most important growth areas,” says Kiyoshi Hashimoto. Greg Plowman,‎ Additive Manufacturing Business Group Director at Ricoh Europe tells us the company’s message is simple, “application, application, application.”

Ricoh 3D printing. Photo by Michael Petch.
Ricoh 3D printing. Photo by Michael Petch.

According to Plowman Ricoh plan to, “drive innovation through our partnerships in Aerospace and Automotive.” Looking to forward to the year and telling us about what Ricoh’s plans for 3D printing will look like Plowman says,

In short, lots of innovation! Since launching our AM business, we’ve seen a sharp increase in market demand. What’s certain is the Ricoh Rapid Fab facility in the UK will prove a leading innovation hub for AM adopters across the region. But of course, it’s not just about the technology. That’s why the facility will continue to offer consultancy, training, design, and manufacturing services, amongst others. This will help further drive the uptake of AM while giving the likes of Aerospace and Automotive manufacturers a one-stop shop.

In 2017 we expect that the additive manufacturing industry will be seeing a lot more of Ricoh.

Roland DG Corporation

At 3D Printing Industry we’ve reported on Roland DG in the past, but the name might not be one readers immediately associate with 3D printing. Michel Van Vliet says, “Roland DG is expanding into the industrial printing area with a broader portfolio products not only in 3D but for sure also with 2D printing applications.”

Roland AG ceramic 3D printer. Photo by Michael Petch.
Roland AG ceramic 3D printer. Photo by Michael Petch.

Intriguingly van Vliet says, “At the moment I cannot reveal what exactly the plans are, but I can say these are very exciting times for us.” You can be sure that 3D Printing Industry will be the first to bring you the news when we have it. Van Vliet adds,

3D printing is a valid technology for industrial applications and adopted from the customers in the marketplace and that on a global level. Most solutions however today in that area are priced at the upper end. The attention and feedback from especially end-users we received on our Ceramic 3D printer concept was enormous.

You can see more of the Roland DG ceramic 3D printer here.


Radosław Sznajder from 3D printing and short series production bureau Solveere told us, “Every year the 3D printing industry brings new  technological breakthroughs. Even the most basic printers (FDM) are getting better each year and the quality of details are better also. We are waiting for possibilities of printing with other materials so the use of AM will be much wider.

In addition to FDM, Polyjet, 3SP, SLP and SLS services the company also has the “biggest Vacuum Casting chamber in Europe (300cm x 100cm x 100cm) so we may provide short series production from few up to few dozens of pieces.”


Kentstrapper are an 3D printer manufacturer based in Italy. Speaking about future plans for the company Lorenzo Cantini from Kentstrapper says, “We are working on the development of new FFF 3D printers with a bigger area that are more suitable for both professional applications and also for rapid prototyping.”

The Italian company are also exploring some markets where we don’t often hear about the use of 3D printing, Cantini tells us Kentstrapper recently attended Carp & Specialist Show in Ferrara, Italy where they demonstrated, “how 3D printing can be useful for the fishing industry.”

Kentstrapper 3D Printer. Photo by Michael Petch.
Kentstrapper 3D Printer. Photo by Michael Petch.


German company Mcubus are working on a filament recycling project and we’re looking forward to hearing more from them soon. Moritz Kölbel from Mcubus says,

I believe the next big step in the industry, FDM especially, will be a far wider range of different materials for special and high-end use cases. We particularly look forward to people starting using filament extruders like ours to experiment and build prototypes with more exact materials much closer to the used in the finished product.


Sculpteo recently impressed during this years CES and company founder and CEO Clement Moreau tells us, “I hope that 2017 will be the year for Materials and Software in our industry.” Moreau gave us some more insight into 3D printing materials adding,

Materials that fill the gap between prototyping and production and increase the number of applications for the technology. Software because I’m a software engineer and I know that well-designed hardware cannot succeed without brilliant software! There are tremendous improvements to achieve on the materials and software side and we’re working on both!

Sculpteo 3D printing metal. Image via Sculpteo.
Sculpteo 3D printing metal. Image via Sculpteo.

ATEAM Ventures

ATEAM Ventures are based in Korea but are in the process of expanding. ATEAM Ventures’ Daniel Cho tells us that for 2017, “We will expand our online 3DP sharing platform Shapengine to a wider dimension.” Cho describes Shapengine as, “a platform that connects not only 3D printers but other digital fabrication devices, such as CNCs and laser cutters.” ATEAM Ventures have also developed, “Waggle, a Wifi-camera module for various 3D printers without those features.”


Lisette van Gent says that for 2017 3Devo are bringing, “more software applications for our Extruder. And in March we will launch our new product which will complete the plastic life cycle.”

We looked at 3Devo’s Next 1.0 Industrial Desktop Filament Extruder earlier this week and are expecting to hear more exciting news from the company later this year. As van Gent says the company’s journey is, “To be continued….

3Devo Next 1.0 Industrial Desktop 3D printing filament extruder. Photo by Michael Petch.
3Devo Next 1.0 Industrial Desktop 3D printing filament extruder. Photo by Michael Petch.


Berlins BigRep introduced two new 3D printers during the last Formnext and CEO René Gurka tells us the company have ambitious plans for 2017.

We are focusing on releasing more and more materials to create end usable parts in the well-known field of “BigRep´s affordable large scale printing” – besides that we will start our cooperation with TNO and TU Eindhoven in bringing the first “automated additive manufacturing system for continuous endless printing—called Sushi- to life.

At 3D Printing Industry we’re glad to hear that this project is back on, and looking forward to bringing you more updates as the year progresses.

Kuhling and Kuhling 3D Printer in partnership with BigRep. Photo by Michael Petch.
Kuhling and Kuhling 3D Printer in partnership with BigRep. Photo by Michael Petch.


Atum3D manufacture 3D printers including the DLP Station 4. Tristram Budel at Atum3D says that in 2017, “we will bring our 3D manufacturing to new never seen before levels.”

Kegelmann Technik

Johanna Krimm from Kegelmann Technik tells us that in 2017, “We will strongly focus on our metal manufacturing branch, established in 2016.”

Kegelmann Technik are based in Rodgau, Germany and, “have a broad range of knowledge coming from our 27 years‘ experience as service provider for qualified prototypes and series production in plastics which we are able to apply to any challenge given in metal.”

Krimm says that, “In many cases, we have to convince our customers about the benefits of Additive Manufacturing. This we are solving with our so called “Additive Thinking Audit”, with which we can give our customer the help needed to find parts which would be more convenient in additive manufacturing than traditional methods.”

Xioneer Systems

Xioneer Systems produces 3D printers for small and medium-sized businesses. The company’s Boris Stanimirovic says for 2017, “we plan to expand the portfolio of our materials and offer shorter delivery times for our Xioneer X1 professional 3D-printer.”

Kühling&Kühling GmbH

Jonas Kühling is CEO and Co-Founder of Kühling&Kühling says that “the industry (in terms of industrial users) is finally making huge progress in adopting professional AM technology and that is exactly what we are experiencing for the past weeks. Major developments will follow over the coming months from our side.”

Kuhling and Kuhling 3D Printer. Photo by Michael Petch.
Kuhling& Kuhling 3D Printer. Photo by Michael Petch.


ESUN are the makers of a range of filament for 3D printing and speaking with Joey Cheng, Manager of Overseas Sales Department at ESUN he says that, “The 3D printing and scanning world as a whole is going to continue to become more mainstream for consumer use.

We’ve already started to see this transition with HP’s debut of the Sprout Pro G2 at the show, a computer that houses a 2D and 3D scanner. Eventually, we feel it will be a similar development to how children are learning to code at a young age. As the technology becomes more familiar, it will become more integrated into schooling and consumer use.

From an industry perspective, we feel (and hope) that developers will continue striving to develop and use materials that are high quality, and environmentally friendly.

Nominations for the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. So if you think any of these companies should be receive an award then use this link to make your choices.

To celebrate 5 years of reporting on the 3D printing industry, we’ve invited industry leaders and 3D printing experts to give us their perspective and predictions for the next 5 years and insight into trends in additive manufacturing. For more expert perspectives on the future of 3D printing click here.

Also, if you want to be the first to hear the latest news about 3D printing and how additive manufacturing is advancing in 2017 then subscribe to our newsletter.

Featured image show a Roland AG 3D printed ceramic. Photo by Michael Petch.