- According to a recent report from the International Data Corp., spending on 3D printer shipments increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and will grow an additional 20% by 2020.
- Campus Technology projects a $300 million increase in 3D printer sales in the educational sector in the next three years, much of which will be to technical colleges and universities.
- 3D printers may be just a small portion of the large industrial impact of maker technology.
As the White House prepares to host its National Week of STEM, news about the intersections of tech commerce and higher education point to what really matters: The ability for colleges and universities to serve as economic engines for corporations and as a critical workforce development partner in creating new companies.
Colleges and universities have always been at the heart of the maker market in a range of industries, and will continue to be the pulse of innovation for as long as students are seeking new ways to enhance convenience, and researchers are looking for ways to solve human problems.
But with the government looking to marginalize those colleges that aren't large or elite through budget cuts and policy, the nation could lose a valuable sector of that innovation market to a lack of opportunity and interest.