Review of “3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution.”

Posted on May 2, 2011


With a whimsical twist on a somber invention, Bespoke Innovations has used 3D printing technology to customize prosthetic limbs. The owners of this organization are an entrepreneur and an orthopedic surgeon. They are adding some pizzazz to an otherwise morose product by letting people put their own mark on it. This article focuses on the few products that were manufactured using the technology in 2010, and emphasized the immense potential for such a technology. Similar to more recent articles, this author called attention to the economic impact that 3D printing is sure to have as manufacturing via labor is replaced by, as he states, clicks of a mouse.

I found it very interesting that at the time this article was written, the options available for 3D printing were to submit an order and have Shapeways produce and ship your product back.  This of course still requires shipping of goods. However, in the year since this article was written we have already seen popularization of on-site 3D printing, eliminating the need for shipping all together. Even the costs of the printers are much higher than the prices we have found today, validating our prediction that we will experience a significant drop in prices, thus making the technology even more accessible to the every day consumer.

Though this article is outdated, the significance lies in the extent to which it is outdated. Within less than a year since its publication, 3D printing has experienced a great deal of improvement.  It is certainly reasonable to believe that as the technology continues to expand its reach, the rate at which it becomes accessible will as well.

Review Submitted by Jennifer Walker

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