Is the Supply Chain Ready for 3D Printing?

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The Form 1 3D Printer

The word "printer" typically conjures up the image of a box-like machine that spits out flat, one-dimensional paper versions of what someone is looking at on his or her computer screen. That perception could shift over the next few years as 3D printing becomes more affordable and accessible for a larger number of users.

Traditionally priced at $10,000 and up, 3D printers turn digital models into three-dimensional objects. Those objects are made by "layering" plastic, metal, or other materials - a process that distinguishes 3D printing from machining equipment (which uses cutting and drilling techniques to "remove" materials).

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at bridgetmc@earthlink.net.

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