This is a post by Beth Stackpole on PTC site.

It might take a minute or two to wrap your brain around the idea that an office-style printer can pump out a working part, but that’s exactly what’s happening across a swath of engineering departments on a regular basis.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is certainly not an unknown technology, but its wide-ranging impact on all stages of the development process is relatively new. A hotbed of consumer activity coupled with a new generation of more powerful and affordable professional 3D printers has people fired up about the technology, enough to have Gartner projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106.6% from 2012 to 2018 with revenue for 3D printers slated to balloon by 87.7% during the same timeframe.

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