3D printing ranks as one of the 12 emerging technologies to watch in 2021, according to a new report from Lux Research, a world-renowned data analytics firm.
3D printing has been on the annual list for the past several years and will continue to drive innovation, interest and investment as its capabilities expand. Many of these technologies are expected to play a role in the fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
12 emerging technologies to watch in 2021
1. Self-driving cars. Initial limited applications of commercial L4 road vehicles may occur in the mid-2120s.
2. Natural language processing allows for rapid analysis of large amounts of text to improve processes such as technical beautification, competitive analysis and weak signal detection.
3. Plastic recycling. In the last decade, 155 startups have been established to solve the problems associated with plastic waste.
4. AI-enabled sensors. Companies developing or using this technology have raised over $1.8 billion to drive innovation in the field.
5. Bioinformatics uses computers to collect, classify, store and analyze biochemical and biological information.
6. Green Hydrogen. In the last decade, there have been over 10,000 patent publications on green hydrogen water electrolysis.
7. Shared mobility. The market is currently worth over $60 billion in China, Europe and the United States.
8. Alternative proteins. Tools such as computational breeding or CRISPR will drive new heights of protein content and quality.
9. 3D printing. Lux expects the 3D printing market to reach $20 billion by 2025.
10. Materials informatics uses artificial intelligence technologies to accelerate chemistry and materials development.
11. Precision agriculture. The precision agriculture market is expected to grow from the current $4 billion to over $12 billion by 2025.
12. Synthetic biology involves the development of microorganisms to transform bio-based feedstocks into products for the petrochemical, agri-food and health sectors.
Lux said in its report, " 3D printing has been a growing interest in innovation for years, but has now reached a turning point where it can be used to produce parts, not just prototypes, especially for polymers. As new printing technologies advance, 3D printing capabilities in metals and other materials are growing, opening up even more possibilities."