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January 20, 2015

Comments

John Brady

Richard,
I think the "not-too-distant" future may be more distant than you may believe. It's good that so many have jumped on this new innovation and that a number of very creative people are experimenting with the technology, because that's where the next big leap will come from, but after attending a Maker Faire where it seemed as though every other booth featured a 3-D printer, what I saw was a whole lot of vases, trivets, desk logos and other "stuff" that was rather unexciting.
Combine with that the hoops that companies will have to jump through in order to get past CPSC, NHTSA and others, and I suspect we aren't looking at a post-tooling world anytime soon.
Like most new tech, there is a fascination with the application itself, even as a toy for adults with the financial means, but until there is a practical, cost-effective and unique application 3-D printing offers that companies and consumers can see, it's just another gimmick. I look forward to the next innovative wave, when someone refines the process to the point that you can cheaply and quickly make big quantities of things that are highly functional, but I don't think that's around the next corner.
Regards,
John

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