The 3D printing industry burst into the mainstream in 2013, but its backers say: You ain't seen nothin' yet.
The innovation on the drawing board for this fast-emerging type of manufacturing is amazing, and a little frightening. How about 3D printers making ... food? If that's not wild enough for you, how about printers being used to make major bodily organs?
3D Systems (DDD), founded in 1986, pioneered the industry. It initially developed expensive 3D printers used in aerospace and automotive manufacturing to develop prototype parts, in what then was a niche market.
It's no longer a niche.
Advances in technologies and materials led to 3D printers able to create physical objects from a wide array of plastics, metals and ceramics. The process starts with a digitized 3D image of the part to be made. The printers then apply layer upon layer of materials to fabricate a physical object.
As their capabilities rose and their prices fell, 3D printers gained greater acceptance in many industries, including dental and prosthetics. And now 3D Systems, Stratasys (SSYS) and others make 3D printers for consumers.
Avi Reichental, who joined 3D Systems as president and CEO in 2003, says 3D printers could soon be used to create food or even human organs.
Reichental spoke to IBD about market trends and the future of 3D printing technology.
Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technology/123013-684621-3d-systems-ceo-avi-reichental-on-3d-printer-outlook.htm#ixzz2p4B0RXgM
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