3D printing has broken out of the realm of plastic trinkets and become a part of the entire product life cycle, according to a talk by Desktop Metal cofounder John Hart at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Next conference today. Hart, who is also an associate professor at MIT, says that 3-D printing can do everything from conceptualizing and prototyping a product to producing its last unit.
Additive manufacturing—the formal name for 3-D printing—is increasingly used at various life stages of an item, as well as in new industries, and Hart points to this as proof of the technology’s coming of age. He sees big companies like HP successfully creating and selling 3-D printers, eyeglass companies using the technology to disrupt the supply chain, and an uptick in additive manufacturing adoption to create aerospace parts.
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