People don't understand 3-D printing well enough to use it, tech CEO says

Key Points
  • The 3-D printing technology allows the construction of lightweight parts, and could transform manufacturing, EOS CEO Adrian Keppler said
  • But adoption has been slow as people just don't understand the technology, he said
Manufacturers need to find out more about 3-D printing options: Executive

The manufacturing industry could be transformed by 3-D printing, but business owners don't understand the technology, slowing its adoption, according to Adrian Keppler, CEO of industrial technology services player EOS.

"People don't understand it, and they have a hard time understanding what it means for their business," he told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Thursday.

The 3-D technology allows the construction of lightweight parts — a feature that Keppler said could benefit vehicle makers in particular as the auto industry shifts toward electrification, and as more regulators impose emission limits.

"If you print lightweight components by using bionic design, this will help you to reduce the weight of a car or a plane," he said, adding that increases efficiency and reduces emissions.

An Apis Cor 3D Printer prints a house at the Stupino Aerated Concrete Plant in Moscow, Russia on 9 Dec. 2016.
Maxim Grigoryev | TASS | Getty Images

It's not just businesses' lack of understanding holding the technology back, Keppler said.

With universities only just starting to turn their eye to 3-D printing, there is also a shortage of graduates familiar enough with the technology to get its full potential, according to Keppler.

EOS announced in a press release in April that it would work with auto maker Daimler and aircraft parts maker AEROTEC on a joint project that aimed to adapt 3-D printing technology to large-scale manufacturing.