3D printing, in its current form is not much competition for the conventional mass production techniques.
This is due to the durability and finish of the material which is used in the ‘Additive Manufacturing (3D printing)’, which some people say is only good for prototyping and some specialised one of products and for this reason it has been called a gimmick or fad.
But in the future it has been predicted that the material used will be atoms themselves and this will mean configuring the material to and substance wished.
“And that is about all that 3D printers are good for, reckon the doubters. Chief among them is Terry Gou, the boss of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronic goods, which makes many of Apple’s products in China. He thinks 3D printing is just “a gimmick” without any commercial value in the manufacture of real finished goods, and he has vowed to start spelling his name backwards if proved wrong.”
This doesn’t take away the fact that the consumer has been given a lot more power with the introduction of desktop 3D printers and new companies creating specialised blueprints so we can print our very own 3D product from the comfort of our living room.
“Meanwhile, 3D printing is becoming more readily available to people with no equipment of their own through service providers that print objects on demand from digitised plans, such as Shapeways, based in New York, Sculpteo, based in France, and Materialise, based in Belgium. It prints medical implants for surgeons, models of buildings for architects, lampshades for interior designers, custom-made knobs for cabinet-makers and lightweight parts for industrial robots.”