3D Printing Embraced in Business

3d printing goes mainstreamStaples, Inc just launched an improved 3D printing service on its Staples.com website. As one of the most popular office supply stores in North America, more consumers will feel comfortable creating prototypes in 3D. What does this mean for the rest of us?

The idea of 3D printing was a pipedream just a few years ago. Now, one can easily do a one-off prototype for low cost and streamlined process – a radical improvement for those in design and development. On the Staples website, they suggest you can print anything from phone cases and jewelry to working guitars.

Through 3D cloud service partner Sculpteo, Staples is investing in the future. In addition to consumer products, there are huge opportunities in medical fields as well as manufacturing. If all goes smoothly, I wonder if we can make many more parts here in North America rather than overseas.  

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, 3D Printing Is Changing the Way We Think, technology writer TJ McCue references Kickstarter as having launched around 300 campaigns on their site over the past couple years which involve 3D printing.

Last year, TJ spent over eight months driving around the U.S. in a tricked-out RV (3DRV) targeting innovation hubs, government and private enterprise 3D printing projects.

See some of the latest 3D designs here and imagine what the possibilities are in your business day to use 3D design and printing.

IBM Research is working on recyclable and self-healing polymers to help end-users create prototypes that are able to be recycled, and to make prototypes with less harsh chemicals.

This will change how we work- it will transform global manufacturing. How will that impact cloud services, managed services, and the partner channel?

Will this alter how buyers buy? Instead of products being created and sold, sellers will work with buyers on what they desire to create, sell the concept, and then create the products – a big change.

While not everyone has immediate need for 3D imaging, the idea of a technology finding an audience and it being affordable by the masses indicates how easy it could be for other currently out-of-reach technologies to become every day parts of our lives.

An interesting TED talk by Avi Reichental is called What’s Next in 3D Printing and how we now can have hyper-local manufacturing just like in our grandparent’s era.

So think, design, print in 3D, and imagine how else technology will be changing for the better.

This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog  for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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