The Flourishing of 3D Printing in America’s Emerging Economic Hubs


Source: Daily Mail

Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi emphasize 3D printing in four powerhouse cities.

When most of us think of the top US business cities we think of New York (financial markets), San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Los Angeles (entertainment capital). But that model is changing – quickly. The new “economic powerhouses” as they have been termed in a November 13, 2023, Barron’s article titled, “Here Come the New Economic Powerhouses,” are Houston, Dallas, Miami and Nashville.

There is compelling data to support this paradigm shift as well. The rise of these cities has been coming for some time now. There is also a large 3D printing industry presence, and opportunities, in these cities as well.


Home to 25 Fortune 500 companies and the Nation’s fifth-largest metropolis by population, Houston is making waves. Not only is it home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but Houston hosts the world’s largest medical teaching hospital, Texas Medical Center, which has 13 hospitals in its network employing over 100,000 professionals.

The 3D printing industry has been finding ways to root itself in Houston as well. Houston-based “re:3D” opened a Clear Lake facility for the public to learn more about 3D printing by participating in workshops and taking a tour around the 3D printing showroom. The company specializes in creating large-scale, affordable industrial 3D printers, including ones that use plastic waste for printing.


Dallas has had the largest climb in population over the past year than any other metro area in the country. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Airport is bigger than the borough of Manhattan. Dallas is the largest landlocked metropolis, at 9,000 square miles, overshadowing six US states in size.

We have covered how 3D printing for bikes has grown in Dallas on Fabbaloo. We discussed how the 3D printing industry could help build Dallas’ bicycling infrastructure to meet the growing demand for the activity.

Dallas is the new home for many California-based companies like Charles Schwab and McKesson. Dallas is also an epicenter for Fortune 500 companies like AT&T, American Airlines Group and Tenet Healthcare.

3D printing service bureaus are making a splash in Dallas. One such player is DFW3D, a small business that offers 3D printed plastic products. These could be client-designed or custom-made, and are perfect for party favors, tool holders, keepsakes or unique gift ideas.

In addition to 3D printing plastic products, DFW3D also offers guidance on 3D design and modeling. For those interested, you can check out their gallery here.

Another notable service bureau, 3D Print Everything, is revolutionizing the 3D printing game in Dallas. This company is devoted to imbuing 3D printing into everyone’s day-to-day lives through innovative solutions.


Headquarters for Latin American operations for more than a thousand multinational companies, Miami is well-known for its Latin influence, but there is more to the metropolis than this alone. Companies like Cisco Systems, Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Visa call Miami their home. What makes a metropolis an “epicenter” are factors including the economy, culture, political leanings, and services.

In addition to being the “Gateway to Latin America,” Miami is home to Maker Faire. From April 15-16, 2023, Watsco sponsored Maker Faire in Miami to highlight the latest advancements in 3D printing and to attract a more diverse group of users.

Watsco’s sponsorship of Maker Faire Miami is a shining example of its ongoing efforts to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration while inspiring the next generation of HVAC professionals.


A few decades ago, one would have associated country stars wearing cowboy hats with Nashville, but things have certainly changed. The shift has been from music to healthcare. With about five hundred healthcare companies now calling Nashville home (including industry giant, Healthcare, or HCA) it is being referred to as Healthcare City as well as Music City.

Oracle and Amazon are finding ways to build their facilities there as well.

There are many ways to utilize 3D printing in healthcare. Nashville is a place where the 3D printing industry can help with prosthetics, surgical instrument design and fabrication, orthopedic implants, OTC hearing aids and bioprinting for organ and tissue repair as well.

One such example is one of the World’s largest 3D printed structures in Tennessee. This impressive feat was accomplished by Branch Technology.

One of the biggest 3D printed structures in the world can be found in Tennessee. When it was built in 2018, it held the record as the largest 3D printed pavilion on the planet.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

The permanent Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is now accessible for companies that are developing new or enhanced products, processes, or software.

3D printing can significantly enhance a company’s R&D Tax Credits. The wages of technical employees engaged in the creation, testing, and modification of 3D printed prototypes can be included as a portion of the eligible time spent for the R&D Tax Credit. Likewise, time spent incorporating 3D printing hardware and software as a means of improving a process is considered an eligible activity. Finally, the expenditure of filaments used during the development process can also be recouped when used for modeling and preproduction.

Whether it is used for creating and testing prototypes or for final production, 3D printing is a great indicator that R&D Credit eligible activities are taking place. Companies implementing this technology at any point should consider taking advantage of R&D Tax Credits.


The 3D printing industry should not ignore the importance that the growth of the four cities offers. The cities, Houston, Dallas, Miami and Nashville, can be prime areas for 3D printing innovation and advancement as well.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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