View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Leadership
  2. Strategy
July 30, 2013

Now 3D printers hit the HIGH STREET

The devices cost as little as a high-end TV.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

3d printer

It’s time to throw out the Meccano – 3D printers are the new toys for amateur inventors, designers and artists now they’ve hit high street shops.

The technology has been available commercially for a while but this month marked the start of 3D printers being sold to consumers – and electronics chain Maplin introduced a model this month for just £700.

Tech geeks will be ecstatic at the news – there’s now a glut of websites like Thingiverse.com that lets you upload and share designs for virtually anything you want to print – at a quick glance on there there’s all manner of things, including a plastic trumpet and a camera mount.

And that’s the terrific thing about the technology; everyone can be creators. Innovation is at a premium and the only costs are the materials you print on.

3D printing works by extruding thin layers of (generally) plastic, building up a 3D image built to your design specifications, or printing various parts you can put together.

There are websites you can visit to buy pre-made designed objects or get your own designs printed in any material – Shapeways lets you print in gold-plated brass and sterling silver, for instance – but being able to print at home opens up the economy to new possibilities.

Content from our partners
DTX Manchester welcomes leading tech talent from across the region and beyond
The hidden complexities of deploying AI in your business
When it comes to AI, remember not every problem is a nail

Companies can provide downloadable jewellery, clothing and toy designs on their websites to be printed from home, while households can even use printers to fix everyday problems, like replacing a broken door handle or printing a new set of cups.

As the devices become more common costs will drop and many predict it will become the norm.

People can buy things online to print at home, but a whole new generation of aspiring engineers, architects and creators can get imaginative from the comfort of their living rooms.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU