This week, 3D printing company Stratasys purchased another 3D printing company, MakerBot, for at least $403 million worth of Stratasys shares. The move makes the newly combined company the undisputed leader in all things 3D printed, and provides a moment to reflect on how far the technology has come.
On the one hand, 3D printing is remarkably exciting. Unlike traditional manufacturing, you don’t need economies of scale. The unit cost of producing one thing is (roughly) the same as the unit cost of producing 10,000 things. On a pure capability level, you can download a design of an object from the Internet and turn it into a real object in your house (or local hackerspace). It’s whoa-quotient is high and as Quartz’s Christopher Mims put it, “The parallels between the personal computing revolution and the one in 3D printing are irresistible.” These machines are finicky, difficult to operate, and expensive now, but just you wait! The price will come down and someone will create the Apple II of 3D printers, and away we all go into the 3D-printed future.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen
Wearables — Lithium Batteries: a soft touch goes a long way
Electronics — Capacitor Polarity Markers
Biohacking — Can Gizmos Cure Insomnia? – The New Yorker
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.