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How is the future of 3D printing shaped by major corporations?

By | Desktop 3D printing, Large Corporations, lean startup, makerbot, mergers, open Source | No Comments

Unless you have been living on the dark side of the moon for the last 5 years, you probably know about the emergence of affordable 3D Printing. An early device to weigh in was actually developed just down the road from us at Bath University. The RepRap project was born out of a philosophy paper – the idea surrounding a machine that helps to build its progeny. RepRap was designed out of 3d printed parts, hence the device could produce “offspring”.

Significantly RepRap was a not for profit and open source movement, which has to be a significant factor in the explosion of the 3D printing enthusiast community, just run the term “3D printing” through Google Trends and you can see the explosion around 2011. We then saw many devices spring up as commercial start ups, apparently very much based on the RepRap, in particular the majority are based on “Fused Deposition Modelling”  ( Imagine an inkjet printer that extrudes a tiny stream of hot plastic over a platform that drops away, as the part builds up the layers.) Read More

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