We do a lot of prototyping using Redeye and Protomold. If this new wave of 3D printing can make parts as quick as Redeye in a variety of durable materials like Protomold, I'll be sold. (of course, it would need to cost justify as well)
Looks like the CAD and design tool vendors are jumping on this "maker" bandwagon as well, introducing new services and consumer-friendly 3D modeling tools as well as forging partnerships with 3D printer companies and 3D print service providers. It will be exciting to see where this all falls out. It seems like there's a lot of untapped potential and interest--not to mention, real business applicability. I guess only time will tell.
Our engineers have firsthand experience with the "magic" a 3D printer brings to our world. We were frustrated with a manufacturer who told us they could not make changes to the gauge mounting of their regulator. So, as frustrated engineers will do ... we built a model in solid works, sent it to a friend who has one of these 3D printers and presto...we had a working model 48 hours later. I will be following your blog really close and may even send you a few small items we would like to bring to fruition. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR JOURNEY!!!
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