3D printing as a large-volume consumer business - it's getting close
Posted by David Brooks | Wednesday, December 19, 2012
3D printing ("additive manufacturing", if you prefer) is mostly a technology for geeky hobbyists, rapid prototyping but not production, and one-off specialty objects like dental crowns - but not entirely. Forbes has an article/video about Shapeways, an NYC firm that...
... uses nine industrial-sized 3D printers turning digital blueprints into solid physical objects at its fastest rate ever: In 2012 it printed more than a million items, well over its total for all prior years combined since the company launched in 2008.
Shapeways offers another path to bring software models into reality, asking consumers and retailers to upload their designs shipping the results back to them, printed on high-end machines with a level of precision and in materials that no consumer 3D printer can yet achieve.
Interesting, eh? This is one of the models that 3D printing fans fantasize about, and it seems to be coming true. The whole article is here.