In this post I explore the rising and maturing of affordable manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, CNC and laser cutting. Does this create opportunities for hardware startups?
The basis of the theory of The Long Tail is underpinned by the fact that the internet lowered distribution costs, and thereby making it possible to offer large inventories to customers. But the rise of self-publishing has changed the distribution mechanism itself. The net effect is that the tail is getting longer each day.
3D printing has been around for decades, but the technology has gathered more mindshare and media attention in the recent years. Still the state of the industry is in its infancy. There are a lot of opportunities in the market. In this post, I will explore where I think those opportunities are.
In my series on the impact of 3D printing, I wrote about my views of the impact on supply chain and product design. In today’s post, I write about manufacturing locations. This topic has already been partly covered in the post about supply chain, but I think there is more to say about it.
Three weeks ago, I wrote about how 3D printing as a manufacturing technology can impact supply chain. This week I am writing about the impact on product design and then — especially — on the design process as part of the overall manufacturing process.
If 3D printing becomes mainstream, I expect it will have a major impact on many aspects of manufacturing and design processes. This is a first post in series of posts on what impact 3D printing can have. Today, I am writing about the impact on supply chain.
An interesting aspect of design in relation to personal fabrication and customized design is fit for purpose. How do you determine a product is good enough for its intended purpose? And who is responsible that a product you buy is fit for the purpose you intended?
3D printing gives a lot of freedom for the designer. But even with 3D printing has limitations to what a 3D printer can produce. These limitations are inherent to a specific 3D printing process. In this post, I go into one of these limitations which is structural strength.