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Will 3D Printing Be a Game Changer in Your Industry?
By: Cindy Wendland
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3D printing is here. One of the firms offering 3D printing is Makerbot. Their latest offer is printing a replica model of one of the Sesame Street characters, Snuffleupagus, for $1.29.

Would you pay $1.29 to be able to print out a replica of something like Snuffleupagus? The total printing time is 2 hours and 51 minutes. If you are an avid Snuffleupagus collector, it would be extremely exciting. If you are not, there are other applications that may prove significantly more interesting.

3D printing is a process for making a physical object from a digital model. The crazy part of this process is the object can have moving parts and actually be highly functional. Tools can be printed and used. Prototypes can be developed more quickly. Historical items can be printed out and used in the classroom to engage students. Keepsakes of children’s drawings can be printed out in full dimensional models. The ideas are limitless.

The application of 3D printing is where things become impactful. Medical models can be printed to reduce the use of cadavers. Researchers are working on printing a house and a strip of steak! The scary application is that 3D printers can be used to print guns. In the future, the TSA may have new things to worry about at check-in. But imagine if you ordered a product and instead of them shipping it to you, they emailed you a digital file? You could send this file to the 3D printer and had your item in your hand in 2 hours and 51 minutes. Once the price comes down, 3D printing is a game changer with ripple effects across many industries.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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