If you’re looking for the latest toy, coolest gadget, or weirdest picture, go ahead and check out another blog. There are plenty of folks reporting on the sex and sizzle of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. For me, the week was more about collecting discrete data-points and connecting the dots — boiling them down into useful insights.
In this series, I have shared trends that I think will carry forward into 2015. In Part 1, I discussed how I see the Health and Wellness industries leaping forward in 2015. In Part 2, I observed the way technology is going to engulf us. Today, I have one last observation.
One last observation: 3D Printers are now actually being used.
3D printing isn’t new, but it does seem to be finding its purpose – slow and steady.
Hosting a party? Don’t have enough dishes, but don’t really want to use paper plates? No problem. Just print new dishes – Martha Stewart party dishes, nonetheless.
Hardware distributor? Why carry inventory when you can create low volume parts on-demand?
Hardware R&D? Rapidly iterate through various experimentations. Tweak a model and reprint.
I’m not sure exactly where 3D printing is going to end up, many of the use cases do seem to still be immature, but, it’s becoming more and more popular, more and more refined and is slowly entering into mainstream.
Oh, and printer prices are starting to come down to the point where they are affordable by the average person. That will prompt further innovation and adoption.