ervin0072002, I agree on that business model, at least for the low-end machines. But it will take time before volumes are high enough for that model to work. Meanwhile, the high-end machines, such as the one in this article, are an entirely different animal: they're more like a capital equipment purchase.
I promise you that if 3D printers cost sub 200usd I would buy one and so would any one that can use the software. I just wish the price would get to that point faster. The manufacturers of these printers need to realize that selling the cartridges and printing materials will make them more money than the printers themselves. Sell the devices at cost and wait for the returns on the materials.
This is an exciting development in the world of 3D printing for sure and will certainly cut costs and provide more productivity for auto makers as it moves into the mainstream. As this is the work of European researchers, do you think the U.S. would embrace this sort of thing, too?
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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