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Printing in 3D – sooner rather than later?

By Paperstone on September 25, 2007 in Office Supplies

Researchers in the US have suggested that a new addition to the office equipment world may not be far around the corner.

While laser and ink-jet printers may be established office supplies, they could soon find themselves accompanied by three-dimensional (3D) printers, EurekAlert! reports.

Currently, the technology, known as rapid prototyping, exists solely for the high-end of the market, but it could have an impact across a range of mainstream sectors.

The news source cites a Paper published in the International Journal of Technology Marketing, which claims that retail could be transformed, with people able to buy a digital file that they could produce at their own convenience.

"This technology has the potential to generate a variety of new business models, which would enhance the average consumer’s lifestyle," read the report.

E-commerce would also be a chief area to benefit. EurekAlert! claimed: "It is only a matter of time before the ‘killer application,’ the 3D equivalent of the mp3 music file […] arrives to make owning a 3D printer as necessary to the modern lifestyle as owning a microwave oven, a TV, or indeed a personal computer."

The technology, which would mark a significant evolution in the office products arena, works by using laser light to solidify a patch of liquid plastic, guided by a digitised 3D map.

Presently, it is mainly used in small-scale manufacturing and sculpture.

At Paperstone we can supply your firm with a wide selection of printer supplies.


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