The promise of 3D printing for consumers is possibly the biggest unkept promise that 3D printing companies made in recent years.
Nevertheless, 3D printing is now fully available to consumers through a growing number of 3D printed consumer products. In addition there are many 3D print shops active today that can cater specifically to consumer needs.
3D printing and digital manufacturing in general are key technologies. Their goal is to deliver on the promise of mass customization and ubiquitous computing, with connected devices in the Internet of Things.
The ability to individually manufacture different products in batches of several thousands is becoming a reality through new high speed systems. At the same time, low-cost 3D printers enables more people to produce parts and objects directly in their homes. Users can download or even designing the 3D models themselves.
This category includes over 100 different 3D printed consumer products. They range from custom 3D printed eyewear to mobile phone cases, insoles, shoes, housewares, furniture and even 3D printed clothing.
As technologies move toward larger and multi-material capabilities, the number of 3D printed consumer products will continue to grow.
This category also includes over 300 FabLabs, which represent the use of 3D printing within a distributed manufacturing, bottom-up framework.
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