Top 3D Printing Stories of 2008

During 2008 we published a ton of articles on 3D printing and we've noticed a few major stories and trends that were hidden within the daily posts. Let's try and sort out the big items that came to be during 2008 right here:

  • The rise of sophisticated specialized printing services. Let's face it; there have been 3D print services around for quite a while, but it's only this year that a few breakthrough companies began applying advanced Web 2.0 approaches to the problem. Companies like Ponoko, Shapeways and others are breaking new ground and beginning to gather a large audience that will eventually become the personal manufacturers of the future.
  • The increasing capabilities of large-scale 3D printers. Increased build chambers, more colors, new and unusual print media and multiple media printing were all introduced by the major equipment vendors, Z Corp, Stratasys, 3D Systems and Objet. More, please!
  • We're still waiting for the price breakthrough. The "Apple Laserwriter moment" has not yet arrived, but it's surely coming. Equipment such as MCOR's paper printer and Desktop Factory's sub-USD$5,000 device should be generally available in their initial incarnation in the coming year. Meanwhile, we await an inexpensive device to really blow open the market.
  • The creativity unleashed by personal manufacturing. One can only look at Ponoko's library of designs to see what is beginning to happen; nothing less than Web 2.0 for manufacturing.

Best wishes to everyone in 2009 from Fabbaloo!

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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