If you haven't been paying attention to the boom in 3D printing, listen up...
To date, it is one of the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies the world has ever seen — and could become one the biggest breakthroughs in the sector.
This could make a dramatic impact on the slumping global economy throughout the rest of 21st century.
And it may have businesses booming in no time.
How much money are we talking about?
Currently, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) sells their DesignJet Color 3D printer for approximately $20K.
As the technology evolves and becomes more advanced, more affordable options will be available to the public. This will forever alter related industries in the same manner that desktop publishing changed the print industry back in the 1980s.
"When laser printers cost more than $5,000, nobody knew they needed desktop publishing," said A. Michael Berman, chief technology officer for the Art Center College of Design. "The market for 3-D printing isn't as big as for laser printers, but I do believe that it is huge."
Remember when laser printers cost over $5,000 back in the early 90s? And now you can get them anywhere between $50-$200.
It's the same mentality, as with all technology.
For example, one company, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), created a similar device known as the Cube. Consumers can buy this for a much more reasonable rate of $1,299.
MakerBot sells a Replicator for $1,749. Buyers can then download free modeling software (i.e. Sketchup or TinkerCAD) and print their own designs as they wish.
CEO of 3D Systems Abraham N. Reichental reported his company has employed 1,000 workers already with nearly 1,000 patents underway as well.
As wise investors, you'll want to jump on this 3D printing revolution before everyone else gets on what will eventually be a bandwagon...
2013: The Year of 3D Printing
Experts predict 3D printing has the potential to completely revolutionize the manufacturing sector this year.
Imaginative inventors will have free range when it comes to 3D printing as it slowly makes its way into the mainstream.
The possibilities are endless... from dentists to aerospace companies, everyone seems to covet the technology. Even instrument makers are using 3D printed parts when crafting instruments.
And here's why we don't think analysts are being overly optimistic when they say 3D printing is on its way to becoming the next trillion dollar industry. It's all in the numbers...
Manufacturing currently accounts for 17%, or $10.2 trillion of the $60 trillion global economy. That being said, if 3D printing is able to “capture” at least 10% of the manufacturing sector we'd easily have ourselves a $1 trillion(+) industry.
What all can it be used for?
Prepare yourself; this list is pretty extensive.
Here's a brief overview of industries that will find use for this technology:
The Economist has said:
Three-dimensional printing makes it as cheap to create single items as it is to produce thousands and thus undermines economies of scale. It may have as profound an impact on the world as the coming of the factory did... Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750 — or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950 — it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches.
The moral of the story: This technology is one of the most powerful market forces in today's economy.
It will allow creators and innovators across the globe to add and capitalize on the entrepreneurial genius that made 3D printing possible to begin with.
With power of this caliber, creativity has a strong potential to increase exponentially. Jobs will be created, industries will grow, and investors will profit.
You'd be wise to keep your eyes on the 3D printing trend in 2013 — and beyond.
The Economist says it will "disrupt every field in touches." Business Insider calls it "the next trillion-dollar industry." And I personally think it will put an end to seeing so many "Made in China" labels...
The USDA reports on inventory cuts across the board agricultural commodities, and a Food Index report for the UN has a similar feel. Food prices are about to go up.