The Future of Manufacturing: 3D Printing
In the past few years, a new technology called 3D printing has been demonstrated in showrooms, conventions, and other events. The appeal of this device resides in what it can do for less...automated product creation.
Like its traditional office cousin, the 3D printer translates data from a computer into physical objects in the real world. However, the device is not limited to producing ink on paper. Once schematics are loaded, the printer can construct a variety of objects from balls, to miniatures, and even remarkable art pieces. The only limitations are size, materials, and creation time. The market for 3d printers is largely craft hobbyists, but a growing number of individuals now use the printers for commercial purposes and sell to consumers. This suggests many possibilities.
For example, schools are beginning to use 3d printers for the classroom, with many teachers creating interactable objects for history, archaeology, and other subjects. A market may soon develop for creating compatible designs that meet modern academic standards.
In addition, a small business may soon be able to use the 3D printer to bypass the use of retailers. Hypothetically, a consumer could buy a product digitally and have it assembled in his or her own printer at a home or workplace.
The devices may also be effective for small businesses given the device's capacity to make assemble complex devices and forms with little human interaction needed. Crafts could be sold to consumers and certain components produced as needed for workplace tasks.
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