3D Printing Can Speed Modern CAD Workflows — or Slow Them Down

Herrera on Hardware: The advent of cheap, fast, and easily accessible 3D printing shouldn’t fundamentally change the way we design and validate products.

It hasn’t been a struggle for marketers of 3D printers to sell potential customers on the technology’s benefits. The value of 3D printing — the ability to quickly and accurately create a physical manifestation of a virtual representation — is both obvious and compelling. What was historically a challenge, though, was convincing customers that the benefits of 3D printers were worth coughing up a whole lot of money and coping with the problems and incompatibilities that came with early-generation products.

Today, however, that obstacle is falling quickly, thanks to two notable trends in the market. One, big vendors such as HP and Autodesk are demonstrating their commitment to the market and putting infrastructure in place to eliminate the interoperability issues that have plagued the technology in the past. And two, more than a few key 3D printer patents are expiring, freeing more vendors to compete in the space and to offer products at dramatically lower prices. Together, these trends are making 3D printers significantly more appealing and affordable. … (read more)

Source: Cadalyst.com

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