3D printing is an amazing and affordable new way to take an idea from the prototype stage all the way to manufacturing and mass production. Its accuracy has recently gotten to the point that it can be used to make watch parts that require accuracy to points of a millimeter. It is also a great match for watchmaking, because in usage of 3D printing one only pays for the amount of material you use. In other words, complexity is free, giving it some major advantages over traditional manufacturing. The prototyping price is the same as the production price, and watches can be made with unlimited design complexity without driving up the price.
An announcement by Xaar leads to some interesting speculation about Stratasys’ future strategy, which could be a different style of involvement with additive manufacturing.