November 15, 2012
3D printing: The hype, the hopes, the hurdles
Geomagic's Ping Fu, Shapeways' Peter Weijmarshausen and PARC's Stephen Hoover spoke at the Techonomy conference in Tucson, Ariz. CNET's Paul Sloan moderated.
-- "Printing goes beyond product that you can see and touch. Guitars, tables, board games -- those objects can be printed today. But food, organs, bones, houses? Those "will take probably 10 years to come.
-- "You can start solving problems that were hard to solve before," he said. "You don't need a mass market anymore to bring these products to life. You can use 3D printing to make improbable products -- products you couldn't make before."
-- For now, 3D printing will remain a prosumer pursuit. Four companies control most of the market for serious 3D printers, though companies like MakerBot are making inroads with enthusiasts. The quality of those machines may not be as good, but "it gets people excited," Fu said. "The PC was not that good [when it first came out] either. But it got better."
-- All markets in the future will be niche markets- Twenty-first century manufacturing is going to be on-demand."
-- The possibilities for 3D printing are almost endless. "You go from life-saving to lifestyle,"
That's the evolution."
Doesn't that sound a lot like hype?
-- "I believe that advanced manufacturing is coming, on-demand manufacturing is coming, and it's going to be a very significant 21st century advancementt. I don't think what's happening is hype. It's basically 15 years' worth of overnight success.
Read full article.
Related article: - Techonomy: 3D Printing and the Democratization of Manufacturing (PCMag)
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