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.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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