Expansive thinking on 3-D printing

3-D printing technology continues to mature rapidly, and expansive thinking on its application is called for in practically any industry. The strength and accuracy of 3-D-made products was demonstrated this week by Solid Concepts, a 3-D engineering firm that demonstrated the range-worthiness of a metal gun requiring seven minutes of assembly after its parts were produced.

Last year USC professor Behrokh Khoshnevis presented a TED talk on building a 3-D printed, 2,500 square foot concrete house in approximately 20 hours that has neared a million views.

Forward thinking on the technology’s application should be considered not just in manufacturing and construction, but on the horizon for any logistics, distribution, facilities, or global business environment.

Here are a couple of relevant Gigaom Research reports on the topic:

http://research.gigaom.com/report/retails-reinvention-technologys-impact-on-todays-supply-chain/

http://research.gigaom.com/report/sector-roadmap-hardware-design-innovation/disruption-vectors-and-company-analysis/additive-manufacturing/

3-D printers: putting a factory on every corner

If hardware is the new software, 3-D printers are a big reason. New research holds that even enterprise-class 3-D printers will be affordable enough to be widely deployed within a few years.

Added to my holiday wish list: this sub-$500 3-D printer

I’ve craved a 3-D printer for ages, but the superb MakerBot Replicator is out of my price range at $2,199. Maybe the Portabee is a better choice to get started printing small 3-D objects: It’s portable and costs $480 in an unassembled kit.