Monday, May 13, 2013

3D Printing: A New Frontier for Creative Thinkers

From investing to creating unparalleled designs, the opportunities with 3D printing continue to amaze me.

Companies such as 3D Systems Corporation (DDD) and and Stratasys, Ltd (SSYS) have handsomely returned over 160% and 620% gains respectively to stockholders in the past year. The market caps of these companies range from 3-4 billion and will continue to increase as the demand for their technology increases.

Other companies, such as Shapeways have provided a new source of revenue for designers, artisans and creative thinkers. Similar to individuals downloading a music track from iTunes and the musician receiving a royalty, artists can upload their designs to Shapeways and receive a commission every time an individual purchases or "prints" their product.  

As 3D printers start to find their way into Staples and other mainstream outlets, we can no longer ignore the presence of this new technology. Everyday people can now create, design and print their own creations or household items, such as coffee cups.

Although it is taking longer for the the paradigm to shift from a novelty to everyday practicality, 3D printing will continue to push society's thinking into new frontiers. From printed prosthetics to replacement parts for cars, this new technology will continue to transform our landscape and help our society move forward.

As I am facinated with this new technology, I wanted to create a 3D design of own. I wanted my first design to reflect a region that is close to my heart, Laguna Beach, CA. My first 3D design is the Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower, an inconic landmark in the coastal town. The design is created out of Alumide, a strong metal that can absorb substantiation heat without changing design, and functions as a candle holder, which illumates the windows at night.

Here is a sneak peak of the Laguna Beach Lifeguard tower design:

To see more of the design, visit my Shapeways portfolio.

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