Earlier this year the designers of the OP-1, Teenage Engineering released the 3D files for accessories for the synthesizer when they could not find an affordable distribution channel for their international community. This was the first time we have seen a manufacturer releasing 3D printable files so that their users could 3D print their accessories, either with a desktop 3D printer or via a 3D printing service such as Shapeways. Now we see Pretty Graffiti may be the first user to carry on the momentum of adding value to the synthesizer, without Teenage Engineering investing in design time or manufacturing.
GoPro users have already been taking this tack for a while now with around 80 GoPro related products in the Shapeways gallery with everything from 3D Printed GoPro Nerf Mounts to a 3D Printed GoPro Kite Mount.
I am sure this is the very first ripple of a tidal wave of 3D printed products we will see on Shapeways that add value to an existing product with little or no investment by the original manufacturer. When manufacturers do get on board and start making 3D printed parts available we will see the same speed of innovation and product diversity as we already see happening within the Shapeways community.
Who do you think will be the first manufacturers to really take the opportunity and run with it? How can we help them to understand it is in their best interest to start releasing accessories to be 3D printed on demand?