3D printing saved the day by enabling an innovative product to be developed in record time.
Innovator Leslie Barry had an idea for a convenient charging stand for his various electronic devices, but he is not a 3D designer. His solution: outsource the design online to talented folks overseas who can do the work. He chose oDesk, one of many online freelancing connection systems. There, you can select and connect with a skilled person for your work.
The project was completed in five days and cost Barry only USD$50. The product was eventually posted to Thingiverse, but it could have also become a real, manufactured product, should Barry have chosen to go that way.
Regardless of the corporate outcome, the point here is that lack of 3D modeling skills is not a barrier to using 3D printing in very innovative ways. All you need is an idea. The missing 3D modeling skills can be found at very low cost, if you look hard enough.
In the case of oDesk, a simple search reveals dozens of skilled 3D modelers for hire, with hourly rates ranging from USD$10-25. One of them could be the designer of your next great idea.
Via Leslie Barry