3D Printing, Where Is It Going?

You may have already heard some interesting things about 3D printing technology. You can’t fail to have been privy to the buzz, even outside of the technology industry. Surgeons and medical doctors are now able to print off synthetic organs with which to perform speedier and easier transplants, builders and architects have been enabled a level of freedom previous unachievable, and towards the end of last year there had to be serious talks about what 3D printing could mean for the weapons industry.

Despite that furore, can you honestly claim to know the names of some of the bigger brands? I bet you could name 20 different manufacturers of phone and tablet, but how many people are familiar with Staples’ most successful home 3D printer The Cube? I defy the average consumer to even recognise the branding of Makerbot, one of the current leaders in the industry. The reason for this disparity between level of potential applications and recognition in the mainstream is because of how difficult these products are to market.

Dita Von Teese wearing the first fully articulated 3D printed gown


Part of the reason it’s not as easy for big brands with big money for advertising to market 3D printers is because their list of uses is almost too extensive. With simpler items i.e. The Amazon Kindle, they can just hit us with “Do you need a tablet specifically built for reading?” But the 3D printer can do just about anything. Apart from, seemingly, have a user-friendly interface- which is the other main contributor to its unpopularity thus far.

Unless you have undertaken some specialist learning on the intricacies of CAD (Computer Animated Design) then a 3D printer to you would essentially be a very expensive paper weight; unless for some reason, you’re acquainted with where to legally torrent or download CAD files on the internet. The real first step towards there being an Apple of the 3D printing world is a product or operating system arriving that enables the layman to render complicated objects with the ease he would putting together a playlist on his iWhatever.


The moment one of the preeminent brands in the industry releases something exhaustively user-friendly and at the affordable prices that are starting to be offered, the game will well and truly have been changed. The world of E-commerce will change forever, with online business starting to have to provide unique downloadable shapes and objects. In fact, everything will change when anybody can simply print off the components to anything they need all for the cost of whatever material it’ll necessitate to construct.

You’d be well advised to crack out the ol’ CAD/CAM handbook in the near future. Within the next couple of years these things’ll have trickled down to your local highstreet, with shelves full of FDM Thermoplastics and PolyJet Photopolymers in place of ink cartridges and stacks of A4, and’ve become the most revolutionary piece of human technological engineering since the breadslicer.

Leave a Comment