It Looks Well in Print: 3D Technology
When King George III asked Fanny Burney why she published Evelina, she said something to the effect that "I thought, sir, it would look very well in print!"
More things look well in print than Fanny Burney would have imagined: Egyptian figurines, car prototypes, titanium airplane parts, even bone reconstruction to solve crucial medical problems. However, 3D printing is not relegated to labs alone. My husband observed that some 3D printers cost about what some laser printers used to cost. http://www.staples.com/Cube-3D-Printer-Silver/product_201876 Of course, with any printer the cost of replacing the cartridges can add up whether it is for ink , toner, or polymer. Polymer is the new ink :). However $49 for a cartridge is not that bad. I would much prefer to print things in glass, but perhaps at this time it is easier for the technology to handle opaque or semi-opaque materials.
I'm not going to buy a 3D printer today, but I do find its additive way of forming things intriguing and strangely familiar. A weaver forms fabric by systematically layering threads. Who knows perhaps weaving meets 3D printing at the nano level?
At the moment my two 3D printing investments are Xerox--some electronics applications and 3M--some medical applications. I will admit that I already had these stocks for other reasons. It is always a bonus to discover more reasons to like a company one already owns.