The Emergence of 3D Printing – Part Two
Editor’s note: This blog post is part of a two-part series on the emergence of 3D printing. The first segment discusses how 3D printing for manufacturers helps businesses expedite processes by creating viable prototypes.
It would be misleading to only say 3D printing for manufacturers can expedite the process while reducing labor and materials costs.
The truth is that the industry still faces several challenges:
Some newer 3D print manufacturers lack robust operations, leading to some pretty long lead times to fulfill orders and install printers. Additionally, many manufacturers simply sell you the printer but lack the network and resources to provide maintenance and repair services for it.
Some platforms from different manufacturers can talk to each other, but often they can’t. Manufacturers are very competitive, so it would be nice to see more cooperation and collaboration that eventually leads to standardization and innovation.
Just look at what Elon Musk is doing in the automotive industry. Tesla opened up its patents for free because Musk believes in expanding the market and innovation advances that causes.
Copyright infringement in the 3D space is a very complicated issue. Hobbyists have fewer restrictions when it comes to printing something for personal use. But, companies still must navigate the red tape involved in scanning and printing items.
Intellectual property expert Michael Weinberg recently wrote a white paper on the topic of copyrighting 3D scans, and distinguishes between “representational scans” made without creative intent and “expressive scans” which are meant to deviate from the original.
The recent drupa print tradeshow that attracted more than 200,000 participants to Dusseldorf, Germany, featured the theme “Touch the Future” and included the latest 3D print technology.
As 3D printing for manufacturers expands into new territories and applications, Becoming 3D CEO Grant Sadowski notes a few trends we should monitor:
Our network of expert service technicians across North America continues to grow. Bell and Howell feels honored to play a role in this dynamic world of 3D printing for manufacturers.