Reports this week that Apple has purchased 3D sensor maker Primesense got us thinking about what this might mean in the future.
But first, what happened? An Israeli news site broke the story of Israel-based Primesense in negotiations with Apple for an acquisition said to be in the more-than-USD$300M range. Primesense produces 3D sensors that were used in the original Microsoft Kinect, permitting the Kinect to reliably detect 3D motions of players standing in front of an Xbox.
The speculation is that Apple might use 3D sensing technology for a "future TV project". One can imagine using gestures to operate a TV; that could be a lot of fun.
But while that may be Apple's immediate goal, the fact is that with the acquisition, Apple will gain significant expertise in 3D technologies. That expertise could, at some future point, be directed toward 3D printing projects.
As of now, Apple is not offering any 3D printing-related products.
But they'll have people that can make them.