We have been watching 3-D printing technology evolve for the last 15-20 years. Every year there are major advances but until now it hasn't quite gotten there yet. That is to say, when will desktop 3-D printing start doing for product design what 2-D desktop printing does for graphics design?
So, are we there yet?
Our check list:
- Purchase price under $3,000: Yes
- Supplies: Close enough
- Accuracy: Good enough for most applications
- Speed: Maybe
- Durability: Too early to tell
- Ease of use: This could be a software problem. If it is not easy enough for most Rhino users, it is likely our fault.
So the answer is: Yes, we are nearly there.
We are expecting that most of you (750,000+ designers) don't have a 3-D printer yet and will buy one in the coming year. And you will replace it within two years or less with something more amazing.