April 26th, 2012 | Published in Uncategorized
Countdown: Print Your own PC Coming Shortly, By PCWorld ARTICLE LINK
In this article, PCWorld touches upon the future of 3d printers. In a world where technologies from Buildatron Systems and other companies at the forefront of innovation are printing out robots, eyeglass frames, foods, tools, toys, and more, what is next? As discussed in the article, it is difficult to create and accurate description of 3d printing because of the nature of 3d printing itself. There is SLS and FDM printing methods, there are materials ranging from food to plastics and metals, and there is a remarkable diversity in foundational underpinnings of commercial 3d printer robot machines. PCWorld notes that though the process has been around since the early 1990s, it has held a low profile until recently due in part to the five- or six-figure prices of the early machines relative to the low quality of the resulting print resolution.
PCWorld goes on to note that another indicator of the maturing of the industry is that the price has been dropped more reasonable to between $1000 and $3000 with some basic low quality models costing only in the hundreds of dollars. This drop in cost, in combination with the increased number of options available for home 3d printing kits has lifted 3d printing from small scale industrial use and has launched the industry to a more mainstream public audience. At the same time, the open source nature of the device components and framework enjoy a faster evolutionary development process because of its increased exposure and popularity with geeks and hardware design hackers. PCWorld goes on to ask a great question, what will it take for 3D Printing to make the leap from hacker spaces and geek garages to average homes?
One answer, from Jeff lipton of Cornells’ Fab@Home 3D Food Printing project makes the connection between the personal computer revolution and the 3d printer industry where in the personal computer revolution computers from integrated machine components to a combination of standardized components. So what is next? 3D printers, PCWorld says, need to offer a little more than what they currently offer to cross over to the average cconsumer. Qoutes Keith Kmetz, a printer expert for IDC “Right now, I don’t see the ‘ah-ha’ application that is going to drive lots of adoption.” According to PCWorld, that “killer app” is still out there.