Sunday, March 16, 2014

Autodesk, Shapeways Discuss Future of 3-D Printing

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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