Just recently saw a news posting about a company making a 3D printer in a kit form for about $1,500 and in a built version for about $2,500 (the maker's name escapes me at this moment). Hobbyists and entrepenourial types are already using these printers to build/make custom items and selling them at craft fairs, sites such as etsy.com and the like. It truly looks like 3D printing is becoming an 'everyman' deal. Just like watching the PC revolution take off in the 70s!
Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" describes where 3D printing could end up. Nano-technology, laying down a molecule at a time. Each residence has a matter compiler of some sort hooked up to the "Feed" which delivers the basic molecues, and there are public M-C vending machines.
I realize that, TJ, and I've been blogging a lot about this topic lately myself. It just seems like there's a lot of activity and much of it really cool stuff. I found myself expounding on 3D printing technology to my kids the other day (and not even getting an eye roll), telling them about some of the things I'd been writing about. That's when I know I had truly been sucked in!
Beth, my first paragraph was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I hadn't planned on doing one at all until I encountered Metrix Create:Space. The chance for truly rapid prototyping without the large overhead cost inspired the blog.
Metrix Create:Space's business model sounds pretty interesting. Perhaps a string of 3D printing shop franchises??
It's funny how you said you wanted to get in on the 3D action and write a blog post. I think there's a lot of folks recognizing the possibilities with 3D printing and as they too, want to get in on the action, we're going to see a lot more out-of-the-box thinking on 3D printers, 3D printing services, 3D printing business models, and 3D printing who knows what in the near future.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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