3D printing will become a central tool in dentistry. Currently, dental crowns, surgical guides and
dental aligners all use 3D printing and the applications will continue to expand.
3D printing will become smarter with sensors and machine learning systems. Sensors and
cameras will provide real time feedback and affect the in-progress printing.
Metal 3D printing will continue to improve and quality assurance will increase, making this
material more applicable to manufacturing.
Automation of the post processing part of 3D printing will increase the profitability of each unit.
This will enable the technology to compete more with traditional manufacturing methods.
Material options and advancements will continue to increase. This expansion of printing mate-
rials will attract more industries and use cases. For example, composite materials that are
lightweight and strong, can help reduce manufacturing and energy costs.
GET INVOLVED AND GET CONNECTED. YOU ARE PART OF THIS FUTURE!
The learning doesn’t stop here. You are a homesteader of this advancing technology and the field will con-
tinue to grow and change rapidly in the coming years.
For that reason, we encourage you to engage with the 3D printing community. There are many mem-
ber-driven groups you can join. One of the largest online groups for 3D printing is the LinkedIn community
for 3D printing, with around 63K members. Figure 16-11 is a screen capture from their webpage. Another
popular community is on Facebook as shown in Figure 16-12.
If you are a woman or want to support women in 3D printing, there is an organization called “Women in 3D
Printing” that has over 75 world wide chapters, a magazine, events and currently has over 17,000 members.
There are other ways to connect with the 3D Printing community. We recommend that you find online
forums that suit your level and interests, and upload your 3D model creation to online repositories to
get feedback from the community (https://reprap.org/wiki/Printable_part_sources). You could also
attend live 3D printing events, Meet-ups and webinars in your area. It’s a great way to stay informed and
FIGURE 1611: The main landing page of the LinkedIn 3D printing community with over 63k members
FIGURE 1612: A popular 3D printing community on Facebook with over 47k members, 3DUniverse.org
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