Thursday, October 9, 2014

3D Printing The Birth Of Distributed Manufacturing

I saw a demo of a desktop 3D printer today from 3D Printing Systems which I thought was worthy of a brief post.

The printer produces items up to about 14 cm wide in each dimension, using rolls of ABS plastic as the input material (hopefully one day a suitable bioplastic input will be available in the not too distant future). At around A$3,500 for the printer it seemed relatively affordable (industrial scale equivalents cost around $2.3 million). The printer accepts STL format models, so they can be created in Google Sketchup, Solidworks etc.

The advent of cheap 3D printing is appearing in the mainstream media now, which makes me wonder if it is on the verge of takeoff - thus enabling distributed manufacturing of a range of goods (albeit of pretty low quality at this point).

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