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Thanks for your thoughts, you brought up a few points I hadn't thought of. I haven't worked in a international corporate environment but the collaboration ability is an interesting advantage. Printed injection molds are also interesting. I had a project that involved this but it ended up getting shelved before this step so I don't have much original or personal commentary on it.

I am hesitant on the argument of getting excited about 3D printing for as-of-yet unthought of uses. Its a fine argument for science exploring but if we are imagining the future or if I were an investor in 3D printers, a more concrete vision of how A becomes B is needed.

Very fast turn around, low quantity molds (~25 parts) is one of the few extremely promising possibilities for rapid prototyping. For speed you just can't beat the speed that you can get with this method, you can have fully functional parts in your hand a week after sending the model. You can turn around different hardnesses and colours in 2 days. I've used it, and it is a fantastic resource for experimentation with a part.


Everyone's comfort level of accepting new technology is graded on a spectrum. 3D printing is probably at the beginning of the early adopters/innovator stage. The people in this stage have to invision what jobs 3D printing can be applied to and test those ideas in the market place. I think we see that taking shape with companies going public, and other rapid prototyping companies adopting 3D printing and combing it with injection molds, etc. The economics of these ideas and the ideas themselves are being tested with the manufacturing community. These ideas have to cross the chasm between innovators and majority adopters/pragmatists before real adoption will start, and it has to do it on several verticals like: consumer, manufacturers, etc. Each crossing of the chasm will be different in each vertical. I think right now 3D printing has much more promise in crossing the chasm with manufacturing over say consumer, but that could changed depending on the innovators finding applications of it.


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