It is really exciting to see those outside of the direct business of 3D printing are starting to promote the potential of the democratization of manufacturing through 3D printing. It is understandable that MakerBot is inspiring many with the relatively low cost to purchase a unit and materials, along with the physicality of the process that makes it easy for those new to the concept of 3D printing to understand how it works.
It may however also be detrimental if someone’s first exposure to 3D printing is at a lower resolution and with material qualities not as advanced as those currently available through more commercial 3D printing techniques such as those available on Shapeways. It is fantastic that MakerBot and RepRap are lowing the cost threshold to own a 3D printer while online 3D printing services such as Shapeways lower the threshold of entry but without lowering the quality of materials available.
Shapeways is also working to make it easier to get started 3D printing with our Creators like the new Image Popper which takes a black and white jpeg to get started, or you can sketch in window if you are using Google Chrome.Very Cool.
What else can we do to help spread the exciting potential of 3D
printing, what would it take to get your parents printing? what would
it take to get your younger siblings or children 3D printing? What
would it take to get your grand parents 3D printing?