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3 Ways That 3D Printing is Poised to Tackle Tech

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While 3D printing makes waves in almost every industry, advancements in the tech field have big companies shaking in their boots. With a 3D printer at home, any coder can create gadgets that aren’t available in stores. What does this mean for the tech industry as a whole? A flood of new product concepts and hampered 3D printer sales.

Startups Use 3D Printing to Cut Costs

An emerging trend in tech is entrepreneurs, sometimes kids, developing original product concepts. With a 3D printer at hand, those ideas soon become a reality. At a fraction of the cost of a full manufacturing setup, cheap 3D printing for home-based businesses allows them the cost-effective edge they need. Take the latest kids’ craze for example. Fidget spinners are a low-tech toy meant to help kids focus in class, and often sell out online.

Forbes reports that two 17-year olds started their own company by way of their school library’s 3D printers. After the first batch of fidget spinners had sold out, the teens bought their own 3D printers to use at home. Their diligence resulted in a booming, worldwide business reach, and exceptional profits. With practically zero initial investment, these teens did what big businesses often take years to do.

DIY 3D Printer Plans Spring Up Online

Rather than purchase a 3D printer to tinker with, this Instructables author designed his own.  Using a collection of Legos, the author designed a prototype that successfully prints. There’s no shortage of online discussion on DIY 3D printers, and not all are Lego brick construction. This might have 3D printing manufacturers up in arms because DIY printers are imitating their designs.

For the tinkerer who has the time to invest in a DIY adventure, a home-built 3D printer is an obvious choice. Whether sales of 3D printers will decline as DIYers share their programming and hacks is hard to tell. But it’s obvious there are ways around purchasing an expensive 3D printer for home use, and DIY is a great option for beginning engineers who want to dive into the world of 3D printing. Even 3D printers aimed at a younger audience carry a hefty price tag when you consider the likelihood the product will survive its first use.

From the first prototype in 1983 to today’s thousand-dollar models, the 3D printer continues to hold its own at the forefront of tech advancement.