eBay providing this service illustrates how mainstream 3D printing will become, at lest in terms of reaching consumers. It will be interesting to see if they expand the offering beyond customizing a pool of preset designs (which is obviously limiting on the design side) to provide more generalized services for 3D printing. Excellent report.
In product marketing terms there are three product categories. Mass produced, mass customized and full custom. Mass customization has traditionally been applied to larger items, such as automobiles. 3D printing seems to be able to allow this to be extended to very inexpensive products. This is really a game changer. It will also promote more local manufacturing. That could be interesting as well.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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