3D printing technology has begun to change many industries and even individual lives, but one area we hadn't considered was the making of 3D puzzles. A piece on GigaOM details the journey of two master puzzle makers into the modern 3D world.
Traditional puzzle making involved time-consuming hand carving and construction, limiting the number of units that could be created and sold. If a particular puzzle became sufficiently popular it could be mass-produced, but most were not.
Enter 3D printing: the technology permits near instantaneous creation of new puzzles, direct from the voluminous brains of puzzle makers. The technology permits limited-run quantities to be produced economically, something not easily achieved before.
Puzzle makers have found the use of 3D print services like Shapeways and others can provide a straightforward outlet for their imaginative designs, while puzzle addicts can get a hit whenever necessary.
It's yet another new market.