Lipson says people tend to ask the wrong question about 3D printing. They look for the break-even point between it and conventional manufacturing. “I often answer it’s not cheaper to produce and they’re quick to dismiss it as not useful. But it allows us to produce new kinds of things that were not thinkable before.”The profound change, he says, is that historically it was always cheaper to produce simple shapes than complex ones. With 3D printing the complex, gear-filled shapes he shows off are likely cheaper because they require less material.
There’s a terrific interview with 3D printing researcher Hod Lipson of Cornell University in The Inquirer.
Lipson discusses his life and how it led him to performing advanced research on 3D printing and related technologies. He talks about how 3D printing technology is sometimes viewed mistakenly by the general public:
We agree and experience this type of misunderstanding constantly: No, you can’t 3D print anything. No, it isn’t done instantly. No it isn’t free or even cheaper.
But it is personalized.
Via The Inquirer