A Bloomberg article posted earlier today (http://buswk.co/WRmwXI) entitled “A Lack Of R&D May Kill the 3D Printing Gold Rush”. While I think the title of the article is interesting enough in of itself (and the entire article is well written IMO), the thing that stood out to me the most was the following paragraph; In particular, the first sentence.
“A major problem with 3D printing that most people ignore is that there’s no Moore’s Law-type mechanics underlying the technology. The physics behind fusing a powder with a laser or melting plastic and squeezing it through a nozzle pose severe limitations on the speed at which you can print an object. And once you’ve applied a layer of plastic, the printer must take time to move and adjust a platform supporting the object.”
So I for one agree that R&D is always a good thing, and there is plenty of room for it in 3D Printing. But I wonder about the ability, or inability, to apply Moore’s Law to 3DP. I think that there MANY ways to improve the speed accuracy and efficiency of 3D Printing, many companies are already doing it. And I wouldn’t be suprised at all if over the next 2-3 years we double, if not triple, our printing speed. But like all manufacturing we will eventually run up against a threshold of how quickly you can print. For that matter I think Moore’s Law will eventually die with regard to how small computer memory can be. Unless there is a breakthrough like unlocking the secrets of biological storage, or discovering unobtanium, we are reaching the physical limits of data storage.