While polishing off the last of the holiday eggnog, we've opened the Fabbaloo filing cabinet and dusted off our posts and reflected on what's transpired over these past twelve months.
Much has happened this year, but we observe some overall trends. Some continue from earlier, but a few are new:
- Maker culture has exploded, particularly with the rise of new inexpensive 3D printing options such as MakerBot and Rap-Man, crisply defining two different market spaces: hobbyist and commercial
- Commercial 3D printers continue to be reduced in price, some even breaking the magic USD$5,000 barrier. Some have achieved this by incremental innovations in their existing product lines, but others have chosen more radical methods: MCOR's 3D paper printer, for example
- The mathematical integration of real life and 3D modelling is growing, and it's yielded many truly astonishing designs
- The gradual enhancements to 3D printing services such as Shapeways, Ponoko and others. They continue to innovate by adding new materials, services and other unique twists.
It's been a great year, and next year promises to be even better!