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3D Printing on the Rise: Which New Jobs are in Demand

3D Printing on the Rise: Which New Jobs are in Demanddemand for 3D designers is likely to grow, and eventually, they will join the ranks of other creatives at agencies and as freelancers. 3D printing is starting to make an impact in many areas, including product design, construction visualization, MedTech manufacture, and even prop design for films and TV. 3D designers will have to know how the technology can be leveraged into different design processes, and will make the position highly sought-after in the future.

Computer-aided design (CAD) modelers are at the heart of the 3D printing process, as they are responsible for translating 3D designs into digital models to be printed in 3D. While 3D designers are responsible for the look of 3D printed models, CAD experts are the ones who bring them to life. CAD modelers will play a significant role in mass-produced 3D products, but their skill set will also be crucial for providing clients the ability to order bespoke customized 3D-printed goods. Ultimately, 3D CAD experts are likely to be among the most in-demand specialists in the field of 3D printing for the foreseeable future.

Research and development (R&D) teams will be critical in figuring out the new directions for the application of 3D printing technology, especially those that offer commercial potential. 3D-printed shoes and other fashion wares are some examples of intriguing new horizons for R&D. Companies are obviously keen to maintain their bottom lines, and what better way to cut down on expensive manufacturing processes than to pursue 3D printing with a wide range of applications? In science and engineering, 3D printing could also prove revolutionary for the R&D process, as it will allow researchers to create working models of many items without having to reorientate multiple manufacturing processes just to produce a single working prototype.

With think of 3D printing as an essentially synthetic process, but the technology has potential for improving healthcare as well. Prosthetics and even human tissue could eventually be developed with 3D printing, so modelers with a background in science will be needed to bridge the gap between printing technology and the fields it can be applied to. The fields of aerospace and space technology are already experimenting with the form, and at least one company has built an entire rocket engine solely with 3D-printed components.

As we’ve mentioned, industries that need prototypes and blueprints will be particularly interested in leverage 3D printing. The field of architecture and construction is a market that is constantly in need of both, and soon 3D-printed models will replace the previous 2D CAD modeling that was the standard for draughtsmanship. As 3D printing technology becomes more streamlined, it may eventually drive down the need for traditional planning materials with scaled prototypes of buildings and structures.

As more businesses take advantage of the benefits of 3D printing, demand for the various specializations will grow. To meet this demand, parts of the workforce will need to be trained about the practical and theoretical points of 3D printing, and this will create new employment opportunities for educators and training staff who can empower people with technical knowledge. There will also be 3D printing experts who stakeholders may solicit to help learn about the ways that the technology could help benefit their business, so 3D printing consultants could well find their services in demand in the near future. Many colleges and technical schools are introducing 3D printing classes and certifications into the curriculums they offer, paving the way for a training industry to pop up similar to those necessitated by the IT revolution.

Thus far, 3D printing resembles something more akin to the earliest days of the internet, with communities of enthusiasts swapping their own home-brewed designs and ideas. However, the very nature of 3D printing makes it a legal minefield. As the technology becomes more accessible, issues around patent law and intellectual property rights will have to be navigated by legal professionals to ensure that designs are not being used without licenses and permissions. Legal fields of particular interest are likely to include IP ownership, fair use, licensing, and scope of rights, among others.

The widespread implementation of 3D printing offers a world of possibilities to different industries to disrupt markets and provide innovative solutions. A new generation of entrepreneurs will emerge to leverage the technology in different and exciting ways, with applications in a range of industries. The need for manufacturers such as 3D printing studios will also grow, as clients seek services that can provide them with bespoke and tailored 3D printing facilities. Eventually, we may see 3D printing outlets operate on the same scale as traditional Xerox shops and stationery retailers.

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