We have been watching 3D 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 3D printing start doing for product design what 2D 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 3D printer yet and will buy one in the coming year. And you will replace it within two years or less with something more amazing.