News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

The buzz: 3-D printing a new side to manufacturing

Between firearms, shoes, bikinis and even pizzas, there’s a whole lot of buzz surrounding 3-D printing. Is it worth the hype?

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Business Information: Big data technology: Beyond the trendy tools:

Three-dimensional printing, or additive manufacturing, is an emerging technology for turning computer-aided design...

models into 3-D objects. The printer stacks thin layers of material according to dimensions dictated by the model. Materials include paper, plastic and metal. It can take hours or days to finish an object.

The buzz: New uses seem to be popping up daily. At the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in New York in April, a whole range of companies shared how the technology is changing their business. Fashion designers showed off 3-D-printed shoes and jewelry -- even bikinis. Defense manufacturers displayed airplane parts alongside firearms. In health care, additive manufacturing is building prosthetics. NASA is even funding a project to concoct a printed pizza.

3-D Printing Products

The reality: It's pie-in-the-sky for most companies. Three-dimensional printers start at well over $10,000 for a home model and reach into the hundreds of thousands for industrial models. It could be years before prices are low enough for small businesses or consumers. For manufacturers,  3-D printing technology could prove a blessing or a curse. It could reshape production, outsourcing it to customers. Whether this will kill or create jobs remains to be seen, but one thing is certain -- 3-D printing has opened up a whole new dimension.

For more on 3D Printing

Reality of 3-D printing in manufacturing

Hazards of 3-D printing

Manufacturing impacts of 3-D printing

Dig Deeper on 3D printing and software



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.