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.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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