Originally shared by 3D4Printers Could 3D save the printing industry?

Originally shared by 3D4Printers

Could 3D save the printing industry? Here’s our take and some advice on how to get started. #3D #printing
http://3d4printers.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/how-3d-printing-could-save-an-industry/

and @anthony_orsi - there’s even an app for junk mail too - paperkarma. My thinking is that it would be more difficult for a tool & die shop to succeed with 3D printing in the long term because they’re not typically retail operations and they’re not really set up to work with consumers.

There’s a middle-market, because the future won’t be consumers buying from manufacturers. Last time folks talked about disintermediation, it was the Internet that would achieve it. Turns out, nobody can know enough about everything to make fully informed decisions on all their purchases, so there’s still a place for retail infrastructure which filters out most of the garbage. In such a world, retailers will do small manufacturing runs of 2000 items; this is where existing print shops could easily find a role, with more expensive/faster machines and technical staff who can solve the tricky problems.

You just said it. Walmart. I can see a 3D printer thriving inside a Walmart. Novelty stuff mostly, Keychains with your kids names, etc, the occasional business order, Maybe some elaborate 3D scanner booth or something. Think of it like the equivalent of the bakery in the food section, this would be an addendum to the electronics/photo-processing department.

@anthony_orsi @Smith_Squared I think the most immediate applications will be more utilitarian - replacement parts, etc. Also I’ve noticed a lot of interest in places like New Zealand and Australia. Seems understandable when almost everything there is an import.