Check the upcoming trends and innovations to look forward in 3D printing in 2017.

From new trends, 3D printed architecture and defining industry driving forces to new filaments and upgrades for ZMorph multitool 3D printers. Here’s our take on what to look forward in 3D printing in 2017. Also, be sure to check out ZMorph’s summary of 2016.

ZMorph’s workshop

Przemek Jaworski, CEO of ZMorph

In 2017 multi-material 3D printing will continue to rise with new Kickstarter initiatives from small start-ups, new companies, and new multi-material products from industry leaders. At the same time the hype for “3D printer in every house” will finally fade away as more and more people realize that the prime use of this technology are professional applications.

The industry will improve their offer for professional users with better customization and products that fit the needs of small business and R&D departments. Medical 3D printing is a great example here and could be the hottest topic of 2017 with new applications and very futuristic use cases that will make the headlines.

I believe that 3D printing software will become more intelligent and thus make the technology easier to use thanks to solutions like the automatic support systems in FFF 3D printing, multi-materiality, Image Mapping, infill able to counteract the material shrinkage and the interlayer delamination. 3D design software will also include AR and VR-readiness. End of 2017 should bring us the beginning of superintelligent 3D manufacturing with IoT-enabled devices powered with smarter algorithms, more computing power, self-calibrating and almost self-aware.

Przemek Jaworski (in the middle) – founder and CEO of ZMorph

Iain Duncan, COO of ZMorph

2017 will see a continuation of the introduction of disruptive technologies into the 3D printing and additive manufacturing world, driven by exciting advances in new materials and emerging new processing techniques.

Because of its unique modular construction and extendable design features the ZMorph 2.0 SX ecosystem is well prepared to keep pace with advances in Desktop Digital Creativity and in particular this year we will continue to lead the way in the implementation of multi-material Filament Processing. Both our hardware and software solutions will adapt to the accelerating change of pace in this area as we have always been committed to a process of continuous improvement in our products while aiming at backward compatibility to preserve our customer’s investment.

In 2017 we will continue to work closely with our customers to understand their specific needs and aspirations and focus on providing the best state of the art tools to keep them at the leading edge of innovation across the various diverse sectors in which they operate.

ZMorph 2.0 SX Multitool 3D Printer
ZMorph 2.0 SX

Mateusz Makosiewicz, CMO of ZMorph

The industry will go in the direction of its main driving forces. I’d say the single most important force are the users. Since we’re quite past the early adopter’s stage for this technology, we have to think what type of customers come next. In my opinion, they’ll need more accessibility and better user experience design – those are the keywords for 2017.

Because of that, the 3D printing industry will try to find ways to broaden its target audience by bringing all the benefits of digital fabrication to people who were reluctant to it before. Moreover, the user experience will not only improve all existing, well-known technologies, it will also open doors to new technologies and hence new products.

In the scope of new technologies, I think we’re going to see an even higher interest in multi-materiality in 2017.

Tomasz Wykowski, Sales Director of ZMorph

2017 will bring intensive development of multi-material 3D printing which also includes multi-color 3D printing in FDM technology. We will see professional solutions getting cheaper over time, as desktop printers will be taking over even greater part of expensive high-end 3D printers market. Printing quality and reliability will be very comparable in top desktop 3D printers, that’s why we’re also going to see a lot more innovations in printing materials and software itself – that’s also due to the fact that hardware-wise FDM printers are coming to the edge of their development.

Global availability of ZMorph 2.0 SX in December 2016

The 3D printing market is getting more and more mature therefore we should see some acquisitions in the nearest future as top players can finally afford takeovers in certain niche sectors and segments. As demand for professional and easy to use desktop 3D printing will grow, DIY solutions for Makers will be shrinking and becoming less relevant. In terms of market saturation, NA (North America) and Europe will grow steadily but markets like AP (Asia & Pacific), LA (Latin America) and MEA (Middle East Africa) will continue to grow few hundred percents a year as awareness of additive manufacturing capabilities in those regions is much bigger than the year before.

Finally, multitool 3D printers are trending and they will continue to grow much faster than the whole desktop 3D printing market. Products like ZMorph 2.0 SX will become much more relevant on 3D printing stage over time.

Digest #23
Image Mapping with ZMorph 2.0 SX

Matt Olczyk, Lead Designer at ZMorph

2016 brought us new industrial 3D printers with huge workspaces, new machines able to print with two and more materials and a lot of new types of filaments, like improved water soluble PVA, UV resistant ASA-X, nGEN with better adhesion, durable PC-ABS, and M-ABS with a lower melting point.

I believe that in 2017 we’ll see even more spectacular use cases of additive manufacturing in various industries, including more real-life houses and architecture. I bet that also material providers will continue to impress us with new filaments, hopefully, able to conduct electricity too. I also look forward to a new support material that will be easier to use and more reliable when used with ABS and ASA-X.

3D printed spool brackets
ZMorph 2.0 SX with various new filaments

What’s to come for 3D printing in 2017?

Leave a comment below with your predictions and let us know what innovations and new applications you’re looking forward to for 3D printing in 2017.

Happy New Year!


Content Marketing Manager at ZMorph. 3D printing enthusiast and avid gamer


  1. John Heimensem Reply

    New intiatives taking up the challenge of making customized products. Bye bye to al lot of serial production!

    cheers and happy 3d printing!

  2. Michael Vardanis Reply

    If you consider professional predictions to help shape the future of business enterprises take the trouble to read my recent findings particularly where they refer to 3D Printing. Happy New Year.


    The following findings emerged from a recent update of a study in depth about the socioeconomic changes to come from July 1967 (the date of the original work) to the end of the Century and beyond. It is presented in a brief form in order to avoid prolonged references to statistical information (however, available upon request) but simply to focus on conclusions for the sole benefit of the uninitiated reader. The results are revolutionary.

    In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold approximately 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they found themselves on the bankruptcy shelf.

    What happened to Kodak will probably happen to a lot of industries in the next 10 to 20 years unless their policies change – and most people won’t see it coming.

    Did you think in 1998 that 5 years later you would never take pictures on film again?

    Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got main stream in only a few short years.

    It now seems certain will happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

    Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.

    Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. A couple of examples to illustrate the point are…..
    UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, but are now the biggest taxi company in the world.
    Similarly AIRBNB is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

    Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

    In the US, young lawyers already find it difficult to secure employment. Because through IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds and with approx. 90% accuracy compared with approx. 70% accuracy when done by humans.

    There will be about 80% fewer lawyers in the not too distant future, only specialists will remain.

    Also the same app Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurately than human nurses. Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers are on their way to become more intelligent than most humans.

    Autonomous cars: By 2020 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. The complete industry will start to be disrupted. To own a car will no longer be necessary. You will be able to summon a car with your mobile smart phone. It will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while being driven. Coming generations will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.

    It will change the cities, since the need will be lower for cars by 60 to 70% less cars. Former parking spaces can be transformed into parks or other facilities for the community. 1.2 million People die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident for every 60,000 m (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million m (10 million km). That will save no less than a million lives each year.

    Most car companies will probably change radically in size or become bankrupt. Traditional car builders are employing the standard familiar method of building a better, safer faster car, while tech companies (Such as Tesla, Apple, Google) are employing the revolutionary approach in building, literally, a computer on wheels.

    Most establishments that will cater for electric cars driven by individuals, such as Office blocks, Supermarkets, Hotels, Parking lots etc., are already installing plugs to provide recharging facilities for their clients

    Many European car engineers in Germany, England, France and others, are terrified of Tesla, and the Chinese upcoming electric car industry.

    Insurance companies will have massive trouble because with diminishing road accidents, the insurance will become 100 x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will almost disappear.

    Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more desirable neighbourhood or in the Country closer to nature

    Electric cars will become main stream about 2025.
    Cities will become less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

    Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil fuel. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the National grids to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

    With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have shortage of water in most places on this planet we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as one wants, for nearly no cost.

    Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year or early next. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” (derived from Star Trek terminology) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.

    It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment as we know it today.

    3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. At the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.

    Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have to store ON BOARD in the past.

    Early next year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.

    In China, they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed except food.

    Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to participate in, ask yourself: “In the future, do we think we’ll need or have that?” and if the answer is yes GO FOR IT

    But if it doesn’t work with your smart phone, forget the idea. Any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

    Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear, as yet, if there will be enough new jobs to fill in the gaps in such a small space of time. The spinning wheel of the industrial revolution showed the way to solve the problem of “machine replacing man” The same resolve can hopefully apply in future occasions.

    Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the not too distant future. May be over ten years but surely less than 20. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their fields instead of working all day IN their fields.

    Aeronautics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal by 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several start-ups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

    There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020 or earlier there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they’re telling the truth and when they’re not.

    BITCOIN may even become the default reserve currency of the world.

    Longevity: Right now, on a World basis the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Eight years ago, the life span used to be 80 years, it’s now 82.
    The increase itself is increasing, and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So mankind might live much longer, probably way more than 100.

    Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2023, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.

    The Khan Academy (a non-profit educational organization) says that every child can use Khan Academy for everything a child learns at school in First World countries. They have already released their software in Indonesia and will release it in Arabic, Swahili and Chinese next summer, because they are an enormous potential. We will give the English app for free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half a year.

    Michael Vardanis
    MBa Harvard Business School

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