When you show a 3D printed product to someone who has not seen a 3D printed piece before, there is significant chance that the conversation will be about the material. And that is not surprising. 3D printed pieces look rough, show “printing lines”, and feel different than regular materials.
One of the major learnings of building a 3D printing online service, is that the demand of personal customization of products is overblown. People are just not that into it.
The major opportunity of 3D printing / on-demand manufacturing is the ability to produce in series of one. But current manufacturing is setup for large series and to support series of one, it is necessary to change how factories operate.
This is an exploration how a possible future can look like if we would not own stuff anymore, but they’re made when you need them. Typically the future unfolds differently than we imagine, but it gives pointers on how trends can impact the world at large.
At the core, personalization enables the user modify a base design to fit to their personal taste. This sounds fantastic and can open a new world where people design their own products within a set of constraints. But when you talk to people about it, they are only mildly interested. The question is why that is?
One of the major challenges for individual and small companies for launching products is supply chain. To find, select and manage a small number of suppliers to manufacture and assemble your product can be a challenge. In this post, I explore how on-demand manufacturing can positively impact this.
There is a tendency with 3D printing to print a whole product as a single continuous product. But in real-life products are not a single part and there are good reasons for that. The requirements for individual parts are different. No single material is able to match all of the required properties — especially in the limited offering of materials available for 3D printing.
When online 3D printing services became available around 2008, the availability of home 3D printers was limited. Fast forward to today and the choice for home 3D printers is growing. Also their capabilities and performance are increasing as well while prices are dropping. What does this mean for online 3D printing services?
Often I read the expectations that there will be a 3D printer in every home in 5 years or a decade. In this post I explain why I do not believe that.