But 3D printing, which last fall Credit Suisse forecast could grow up to 30%, has the potential to reshape how America makes stuff, creating new high tech jobs in the U.S. and bringing old ones back from abroad.
"I see manufacturing taking a profound turn with additive technologies in the next five years," S. Kent Rockwell, CEO of 3D printing firm ExOne, said in a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report. "We'll see elite job shops grow, and new start-ups grow. We'll also see blue-collar employees learn the technology and adapt and start wearing white shirts."
3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of creating products and parts on site.