Alexandre Prokoudine - 16. May, 2013Blender dives into 3D printing industry
Blender 2.67 was released last week with a 3D printing toolbox. LGW spoke to Dolf Veenvliet, Bart Veldhuizen (Shapeways, Blendernation), and Rich Borrett (Ponoko) about the new tools and the future of 3D printing.
As one of the impressively fast growing industries, 3D printing is lately all the rage in the press. Let's start with the basics. What do we know about 3D printing anyway?
Increasingly affordable (under $1000 now) desktop 3D printers make it possible to turn designs into real plastic or metal objects up to 30cm large in any dimension.
The technology has been ca. 30 years in the works, currently with a wide range of devices capable of printing from tiny objects (a fraction of an inch large) to houses.
The market is currently estimated as $777 million large (although allegedly not that many desktop devices have been sold yet) with a potential to grow into $8,4 billion large by 2025.
Even though the industry is in its infancy, powerful alliances like Autodesk + Makerbot already take place.
Existing marketplaces help early adopters to justify the cost of owning a 3D printer by selling unique printed items, from jewelery to miniatures.
Where does Blender fit into this picture? Let's start with an overview of the market.From tinkerers to designers
While Blender is still considerably underestimated for use in various commercial scenarios, the adoption goes at an increasing pace, and both the project and the community are, in fact, self-sustaining. But until fairly recently the state of 3D printing tools for Blender was matching the overall state of the 3D printing tools. Here's why.
In his book “Makers: The Industrial Revolution
”, Chris Anderson defines status quo of the whole market: As with first laser printers, 3-D printing is still a bit expensive and hard to use; it's not yet for everyone. We haven't really figured out what the killer app will be... The first users are a little lost.
When desktop publishing was first introduced, tens of thousands of people discovered that they knew nothing about fonts, kerning, text flow, anchors, and all that...
Today with the spread of desktop fabrication tools, a generation of amateurs is also being suddenly confronted with the baffling language and techniques of professional industrial design, just as they were in the desktop publishing era.http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/blender-dives-into-3d-printing-indistry