Thanks, Rob. You're sure right about higher materials volumes making cost go down--but only if they start being sold by third parties so there's an open market. Something crudely similar happened with inkjet and laser printer ink cartridges, which were insanely high priced as long as you could only get them from printer manufacturers. Once that opened up, prices went way down. I say "crudely similar" because ink is basically ink, with a few color differences, whereas the types of 3D printing materials are far more numerous.
Like the vendor barking at the ballpark- "GIT YER PROGRAMS--Ya can't follow the game, if ya DON'T have yer PROGRAM!" Ann, we've dialogued on this multiple times, and I was previously confident to talk from experience and recollection – but this industry is unfolding almost exponentially now, and it takes a focused analyst and a tracking sheet to keep tabs on everything.
I see three factors converging & expanding, almost fluidly as an industrial life-form:
Nice blog, Ann. My guess is that the materials used in 3D printing will at some point become less expensive simply because of volume. In a few years, there will probably be a handful of materials and much of the 3D technology will become less proprietary. That will open the doors for reduced overall cost.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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