RedEye On Demand (Stratsys's 3D print service bureau) compares 3D print services with the iTunes store in their recent newsletter. While one service delivers digital music and other digital content, the other delivers physical objects. How can the two be compared? Both have been highly disruptive to existing business models. iTunes, of course, cut out large portions of the music distribution model, and 3D print services really do the same thing. As RedEye says:
Digital manufacturing produces tangible low-volume plastic parts without machining, mold tooling, jigs to hold the work in place, fixtures or much manual intervention – all things that dramatically add to the cost of today’s traditional manufacturing processes.
Or really, it's just a much simpler process than what was used before. And we believe simpler is the key to growing the 3D printing market.
Via RedEye On Demand