Curious who the thought leaders are in the exploding field of 3D printing? Then look no further than this list.
3D printing is poised for substantial growth: In 2013, sales reached $2.5 billion globally and by 2018, that figure is projected to soar to $16.2 billion worldwide. For this reason, we wanted to create a Geektime list of ten bloggers, influencers and innovators in the 3D printing sector that you should keep your eye on. Follow their Twitter feeds, read their blogs, and listen to their TED talks – you’ll soon find yourself at the white-hot center of all things additive.
1. Terry Wohlers
Wohlers has been tracking the 3D printing industry since 1987 – long before it became known as 3D printing. His consulting firm provides technical, market, and strategic advice on trends in the industry. Each year, he authors a comprehensive report that is a must-read for industry players and costs $495. Wohlers has written over 400 articles and consulted for over 190 organizations, according to his web site.
2. Hod Lipson
Cornell University engineering professor Hod Lipson has written arguably the best recent book on 3D printing for the layperson: Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing. He is also editor-in-chief of the quarterly peer-reviewed journal “3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing,” which explores the cutting edge of 3D printing science.
3. John Biehler
Biehler is a Vancouver, British Columbia 3D printing enthusiast with 4,400 followers on Twitter. He co-founded 3D604.org, a club of 3D printing enthusiasts who meet monthly. He has spoken at SXSW Interactive and written a how-to book, 3D Printing with AutoDesk. He also curates the 3D printing list at startupdigest.com.
4. Bre Pettis
He is the co-founder and former CEO of MakerBot Industries, a 3D printer manufacturer now owned by Stratasys. He was also host of Make Magazine’s Weekend Projects podcast, and formerly worked as a schoolteacher and puppeteer. He now runs the Innovation Workshop at Stratasys, where his projects include a movie whose characters are all 3D printed. The movie’s characters will all be made available for 3D printing at home.
5. Chris Anderson
He was the editor of WIRED Magazine until 2012, when he stepped down to cofound 3DRobotics, a company that manufactures drones. In 2012 he published a book called Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Anderson reportedly said that he left his job because “3D printing will be bigger than the Web.”
6. Rachel Park
She is the Editor-in-Chief of 3Dprintingindustry.com. Previously, she spent 12 years as editor of the TCT Magazine, which also focuses on 3D printing. She has close to 10,000 Twitter followers awaiting her every pronouncement on the industry.
7. TJ McCue
McCue is a high-tech marketer who is currently taking an 8-month RV road trip across the U.S. to explore 3D printing, scanning, and design. He is also a journalist who has written for the Wall Street Journal, Make, Forbes and Business Insider. You can follow him on Twitter, where he has over 15,000 followers.
8. Philip Cotton
He is the founder of the 3dfilemarket.com, an online community that downloads and shares 3D printing designs. He also teaches design and technology at a UK high school and was one of the first teachers to bring a 3D printer into the classroom. He won the 3D Printshow Educational Excellence Award in 2013 and 2014.
9. Dale Dougherty
Dougherty is the Founder, President and CEO of Maker Media, Inc., which produces Make Magazine and Maker Faire. Both the magazine and faire have launched a worldwide maker movement that empowers regular people to make things using 3D printers and other technology. This summer, President Obama hosted a maker faire at the White House. His TED Talk on the maker movement got close to 600,000 views.
10. Jennifer Lewis
She doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account, nor a public profile picture. The Harvard University materials scientist is too busy developing the next generation of 3D printing, including microscopic electrodes and tissue interwoven with blood vessels. Lewis was also recently named one of Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers – not too shabby.
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