3D Printing is Maturing

At the beginning of the year I wrote about 3D printing and scanning in “Personal Fabrication and Torrented Objects” and I want to share a few articles now about the maturation of the practice.

Over at BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow has been pointing out coverage of 3D printing. One exciting advancement is in the reduced cost of the printers. The UP! personal 3D printer will retail for just $1500. As the prices lower for these tools, the practicality of using 3D printing for a host of projects is going to soar. Already this technology is in the price range where a small group or community could invest in a printer. Read more about the UP! at “Cheap, portable personal 3D printer: the UP!

The New York Times has even been covering 3D printing. Cory introduces the article “3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution” as “The NYT covers 3D printing, from the Makerbot and textile printers to custom prosthetic limbs to a mighty house-printer” and the article includes the following:

A California start-up is even working on building houses. Its printer, which would fit on a tractor-trailer, would use patterns delivered by computer, squirt out layers of special concrete and build entire walls that could be connected to form the basis of a house.

It is manufacturing with a mouse click instead of hammers, nails and, well, workers. Advocates of the technology say that by doing away with manual labor, 3-D printing could revamp the economics of manufacturing and revive American industry as creativity and ingenuity replace labor costs as the main concern around a variety of goods.

I’m excited to see how this emerging technology will shake things up as it becomes accessible to most people.

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