One of the big stars of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the new wave of lower priced 3D printers. The MakerBot Replicator is a good example of this new wave of technology in the 2k-3k price range. And those that attended yesterday were thrilled at the demonstration by MakerBot of the ability to replicate images into 3D objects. Using computer software, the MakerBot takes thin plastic string, melts it, and injects it layer by layer until items such as a toy rocket or coffee cup are completely formed. Some objects take on the order of an hour and a half to create, others much longer. But, the trend is clear here. 3D printers are getting both cheaper as well as faster, and it won’t be too many long years before small business or even many home workplaces or computer areas may add a 3D printer as technology grows by leaps and bounds.
Science fiction has long speculated that technology would someday allow for the replication of objects. Both STAR TREK and LOST IN SPACE, back in the 1960’s both seemed to make this an important prediction of the future for actual technology. Today, some persons, which include Jay Leno, use 3D printers to replicate some rare automobile trim parts that would be difficult to impossible. And small toy designers, can make great use of 3D printers to create better and more accurate scale models of automobiles and other objects with the new technology. Medical and dental science is also able to produce much better fitting and far better body replacement parts thanks to 3D printing as well.
The fact that 3D printing technology has moved from a mere industrial setting all the way to the 2013 CES event proves that it will no be far off before many homes and small businesses will include some compact and low priced 3D printer before many more years pass. This should also tell many stock investors what will be the next big trend and to get in some companies that will witness huge future growth.
Soon, 3D printers will be able to do almost anything that the owner desires, including make a bust of Stephen Colbert such as MakerBot has proven.