I wonder if this isn't possibly the beginning of a trend: 3D printer manufacturers making smaller versions of their machines with smaller build volumes that still can use complex 3D printing technologies. This one's aimed at a the growing number of AM labs in various universities for R&D, but also to train the next generation of engineers in the technology. And the fact that this university is a member of NAMII, which aims to bring together academia, government agencies and commercial interests to further the technology, seems significant to me. What do others think?
This smaller printer would be useful for model builders (including model engines) if the price is right. Of course, 3D service bureaus would be an option. I see news today that Stratasys plans to grow by acquiring companies that make 3D metals printers.
78RPM makes an interesting point about metals printers and service bureaus. Right now, these machines/processes and their materials are probably way too pricey for that. They were developed to serve high-end applications in industrial, military and aerospace markets, so pricing is on a very different scale from anything aimed at consumers. This is an important point to keep in mind about 3D printing/AM--there are two very different ends of the industry.
@Ann - all devices come in small sizes with same or better performance, I think the same concept applies here. 3D printer manufacturers making smaller versions of their machines with smaller build volumes that still can use complex 3D printing technologies
@David – I think we should give it few more days for the product to establish its self in the market and automatically the prices will fluctuate with the competition. I am sure it would not be a monopoly or oligopoly, as there are many manufactures waiting to enter into the market.
@78RPM - Yes model builders will definitely find this very useful; it helps them save their time. Now it's just a matter of designing the 3D model and the printer will do the rest for you, whereas sometime back you need to craft the object.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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