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3 Ways the Magic Wand of 3D Printing Will Go Mainstream

April 6, 2013, 12:00 AM
3d_ppep

What's the Big Idea?

"I’ve been working with 3-D printers since the late ‘80s," says Hod Lipson, the co-author, along with Melba Kurman, of the new book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.

Up until about 2005, however, "this technology was mostly locked in very expensive machines" costing upwards of $50,000 and "that was one of the reasons why most people weren't aware of it," Lipson tells us. That all changed, of course, with the creation of an open-source 3-D printer, the Fab@Home project that came out in parallel with another open-source project called the RepRap.

"These two printers really made the technology accessible to a lot of people, and hundreds, if not thousands of these machines have been built since then," Lipson tells us.

What's the Significance?

Now that this technology has been unleashed, where will it find its mainstream applications? In the video below, Lipson says that anyone "from chefs to surgeons to archaeologists are using this in lots and lots of different ways." But what about a home printer? Lipson says that these will most likely be used for making things that are consumable that people need on demand: toys, entertainment and food.  

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

More from the Big Idea for Saturday, April 06 2013

Disruptive Technology

By removing familiar, time-honored manufacturing constraints, 3D printing sets the stage for "a cascade of downstream innovation." In their book, Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing, Hod Lips... Read More…

 

3 Ways the Magic Wand of 3D...

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