What’s shopper 3D printing actually good for?

By Laura Entis, Entrepreneur Employees

Because the co-founder and CEO of SOLS, a startup that manufactures customized 3D printed orthotic insoles utilizing scans of consumers’ ft, Kegan Schouwenburg is annoyed that shopper 3D printing’s hottest software is popping Web memes into printed fashions.

Schouwenburg began SOLS, at the very least partially, to raise the know-how’s standing from a buzzword to one thing that really improves the best way merchandise are designed. For years, gadgets — from memes, to bobble heads to telephone instances — have been 3D printed primarily as a result of the know-how itself is headline grabbing. As Schouwenburg factors out, this is not the case with most manufacturing applied sciences. “No one goes round saying, ‘that is so cool as a result of it was injection molded,'” she says. “They’re saying ‘this can be a nice product as a result of it is higher and improves my life not directly.'”

This disconnect between shopper 3D printing’s usefulness and the flurry of media protection it continues to generate helps clarify why, in accordance with the analysis group Gartner, the know-how is about face a backlash when it fails to stay as much as our collective expectations. Based on the group’s 2014 “hype cycle,” 3D printing has simply handed the “peak of inflated expectations” and is headed for the “trough of disillusionment.”

“It is cresting,” Schouwenburg agrees. SOLS accomplished its seed spherical in early 2014. “We raised cash on the proper time. Now, there’s a lot disillusionment. It is this angle of, ‘you promised us that this know-how was going to vary the world and but nonetheless, we’re making inexperienced plastic dinosaurs! What is going on on right here?'”

Watch the video to listen to Schouwenburg’s speak about 3D printing’s potential to revolutionize the best way we take into consideration customization.

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What is consumer 3D printing really good for?
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