Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
If you take a quick look at some of the nylon plastic products on offer via Amazon’s partner, 3DLT, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the new pilot program is really just about an incremental e-commerce push at Amazon. In other words, Jeff Bezos now allows you to buy groovy new jewelry designs and quirky plastic toys made by 3D printers on Amazon.com rather than on a third-party site from Shapeways, Cubify or MakerBot. You’ll now be able to pick up a designer $18.86 plastic belt buckle and $28.26 designer iPhone 5 case at Amazon.com along with your books and lawn products and fashion items and have it all delivered via Amazon Prime.
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Bass notes the coming of the sub-$1,000 3-D printer. Some people think every home some day will have one. Is that true? Weijmarshausen replies that its interesting to note the current technology of the machines limits each machine to a single type of material. And the post-production is still very complicated. But Weijmarshausen thinks the big appeal to consumers is the instant gratification of having an actual product. Shutterfly custom books is just one example of that. So, it will be more and more common for the home to have one, he thinks.
Still, Bass thinks that if he can just go to a store, and buy an object, wouldn't that be preferable, as with a service bureau like Shapeways. Weijmarshausen agrees that making stuff is going to become more localizeable. There are lots of things that have limited appeal and with 3-D printing, more objects can be manufactured closer to the end customers. He thinks there can be more and more outlets that make things in many, many cities. Maybe use Amazon.comdrones to deliver to the last mile. It is a way, he suggests, to re-connect design and manufacturing.
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Sunday, March 9, 2014
As with any new technology, it's easy to get swept up in the benefits of 3D printing. It opens up a world of new possibilities for all industries, and stands to lessen transportation costs, environmental impacts, waste, and reliance on corporations by enabling the maker movement. But 3D printers are still potentially hazardous, wasteful machines, and their societal, political, economic, and environmental impacts have not yet been studied extensively. To make sure you aren't thrown off guard by the conversations to come, we've compiled a list of 10 things you need to know about the dangers and potentially negative impacts of 3D printers.