3-D print shops
For consumers or businesses not interested in forking over their cash for a 3-D printer, 3-D print shops are sprouting up to meet the demand of creating a prototype on the fly or products for sale with minimal investment.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a non-profit program known as the State of Ingenuity Initiative, serving southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois, aims to provide rapid prototyping using 3-D printing to any individual or business who can’t afford to invest in the necessary equipment. The design labs participating in the program mainly function to help businesses grow and create jobs.
Located in New York, Shapeways regards itself as “the world’s leading 3-D printing marketplace and community.” Through the company’s website, individuals can make, buy and sell their own products. They provide their users with access to cutting edge technology so they can customize and personalize their designs and have them printed and shipped on demand.
As individuals and smaller businesses gain greater access to 3-D printing solutions, you won’t need a team of engineers to produce a prototype. 3-D printing also greatly reduces the costs associated with mass production and inventory storage because products can be created only when an order is placed. As this technology allows smaller producers to compete more effectively with companies with bigger budgets and better equipment, greater and more diverse opportunities should surface for investors and the companies that bring 3-D printing to the marketplace.
The article 3-D Printers Level the Playing Field for Small Business originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Eileen Rojas.
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